ROSEVILLE (WWJ) – Roseville Police detectives are investigating numerous cases of fraud involving the owners of Buehler Funeral Home on Gratiot Avenue.
Mark Buehler, 62, and Lisa Buehler, 42, are charged with four counts each of funeral contract conversion, a five-year felony.
Roseville Police Detective Mark Pratt said the Eastpointe couple may have collected up to $500,000 from as many as 200 people –several telling WWJ they trusted the funeral home because it has been there for years, originally run by parents who left the business to their children.
Charlotte Carrier and her siblings were making arrangements for her mother and told WWJ, “she wanted these arrangements made, we all thought it was a good idea, my sister handled it, took care of it, then of course this news story broke and we were just really devistate,” she said, adding it’s not just the kids who are at a loss.
“My mother is devistated right now, she is sitting at home crying all morning long, says Joe (Charlotte’s brother).
Prosecutors allege the Buehlers took funds for pre-paid funerals and used the money for personal purposes.
Thomas McCabe and his wife Mary Jane are among the alleged victims.
“I did hear that there was one individual who’s out $7,000, and it’s a crime whether it was $7 or $70 or whatever. Shame on ’em,” McCabe told WWJ’s Mike Campbell.
A maintenance man at the funeral home tipped off authorities. Police raided the Buehlers’ home. Lieutenant Raymond Blarek said, if the pair is convicted, items of value, including two luxury cars, will be sold and proceeds used for victim restitution.
39th District Court Judge Joseph Boedeker set bond at $200,000. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 16 at 1 p.m.