Central Pa. funeral director faces more charges

CONESTOGA, Pa. (AP) — Authorities say a Lancaster County funeral home director already jailed on abuse of corpse charges is facing new allegations that he stole more than $178,000 from clients in false life insurance policies.

Benjamin M. Siar Jr. was arrested Feb. 1 after police discovered four decomposing bodies in the basement of Gundel Funeral Home.

Now, prosecutors say further investigation uncovered a scheme in which he sold clients life insurance policies to fund funeral arrangements, but never forwarded the applications to the insurance companies and then collected the premiums.

Prosecutors say the 41-year-old also pocketed more than $13,000 paid to him for funeral and cremation services.

He’s now facing 24 counts of theft by deception and other charges. He remains in custody and it wasn’t immediately clear if he had an attorney.

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