Sentencing Delayed For Funeral Home Scammers
ROSEVILLE (WWJ) – The owners of a Roseville funeral home that bilked clients out of thousands of dollars in pre-paid funeral contracts will be free at least until next month.
Circuit Court Judge John Foster adjourned Tuesday’s sentencing of Mark and Lisa Buehler so they can to provide restitution to as many of their victims as possible after they pleaded guilty last month to 37 charges of funeral contract conversion impacting dozens of their clients.
“If I were to sentence today and place the defendants in jail, the likelihood of getting money for the escrow account and taking care of those funerals is almost nil,” said Judge Foster.
The mother of Norma Vigliori paid $5000 to the Buehlers. She thinks there’s no way they can pay it back. “How can they expect to get a job? I just don’t see it. I know that you think that putting them in jail isn’t any help for them, but what else can be done?”
Karen Phillips, a victim’s rights advocate from the Macomb County prosecutor’s office spoke with many of those victims.
“This was their life savings or their children’s savings. Some of them have had many medical issues due to this 00 high blood pressure, having to up their medication, being very traumatic and distraught,” said Phillips.
“One woman I was talking to, her son now has to take care of everything she does because she does not trust anyone,” Phillips said.
The sentencing date for the Buehlers, who are free on personal recognizance, was rescheduled for to July 28. They face the possibility of up to five years behind bars.