Former funeral home owner pleads guilty to fraud - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Former funeral home owner pleads guilty to fraud

Patricia Wills pleads guilty fraud (Source: WOIO) Patricia Wills pleads guilty fraud (Source: WOIO)
House of Wills funeral home closed (Source: WOIO) House of Wills funeral home closed (Source: WOIO)
A prominent funeral home operator exposed by Carl Monday last year has pleaded guilty to fleecing one of her customers.

For more than 100 years, the House of Wills was a source of pride in Cleveland's African-American community.

Tuesday, owner Patricia Wills brought shame to the now closed family business.

The case in question involved a woman named Katherine Moore, who died in a nursing home in 2014.

The insurance company holding her burial policy thought she had died two years earlier. That's why, in 2012, they sent the $12,000 burial check to someone who cashed it, someone the Moore family has no connection to.  

Now, in a plea deal, Patricia Wills has admitted to insurance fraud, forgery, and grand theft.

Afterwards, she told Monday, "I would like to express to the Moore family that I'm really sorry."

As Monday reported last year, 15 families came forward claiming the same thing happened to them.

But Wills and her attorney say they've been told those cases will not be prosecuted.

The House of Wills closed several years ago after declining business and scrutiny from the Ohio Embalmers and Funeral Directors Board.

Wills will be back in court in July for sentencing. She could receive anything from probation to four-and-a-half years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

Copyright 2015 WOIO. All rights reserved.

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