Cemetery case could spur other charges

Cemetery case could spur other charges

There are 21 comments on the The Indianapolis Star story from Jan 19, 2008, titled Cemetery case could spur other charges. In it, The Indianapolis Star reports that:

The growing cast of characters accused of taking part in a scheme to drain as much as $27 million from Indiana cemetery trusts includes several people tied to similar plots in Michigan and Tennessee.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Indianapolis Star.

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Lois Lawrence

United States

#2 Jan 19, 2008


My husband died August of 2004,and my experience with Forest Lawn was not good. There were troubles before the last owners took over.
ldr

AOL

#3 Jan 19, 2008
chad was smart to get out when he did
racecar_fan

United States

#4 Jan 19, 2008
stealing from the dead..
I'd also look at recovering some of the funds paid to the former cemetery owners.
Boris

South Bend, IN

#5 Jan 19, 2008
some things never change...

taxpayer

Indianapolis, IN

#6 Jan 19, 2008
My mother passed away in April 2007 - my dad paid my mothers stone in full (had it order) and found the funeral director in Lebanon had not ordered the stone at all (after lying about it). There is nothing sacrid... and you just can't trust anyone these days.
bystander

AOL

#7 Jan 19, 2008
Let's not put Chad on a pedestal anytime soon. He was the Nelms' "boy" the entire time he was there. Just ask him about wrongful burials he allowed to happen, more specifically - a fetus! What's that old saying about glass houses.
hmmm

Indianapolis, IN

#8 Jan 19, 2008
imagine the emotions of my 91 year old mother in law when I tell her that her pre-paid funeral arrangements, and the cemetery, Lincoln Memory Gardens, where her husband and parents are buried are now in turmoil and could have a permenent impact on all of the plans made over the course of her life. I wish there were some way to transfer the terrible pain she will feel into the folks responsible for all of this.
Hopefully

AOL

#9 Jan 19, 2008
Hopefully, the Secretary of State will be able to liquidate the house, land, and expensive toys that the Nelms bought with other people's money and fulfifll the prearranged agreements. These people are two of the sickest, greediest creeps you could imagine. Deborah walks around in designer clothes and can't utter two sentences without making 5 grammatical errors. They are scum of the earth and they deserve all the humiliation and punishment they get! I hope their fellow prisoners show them a "good time."
Any way

Fishers, IN

#10 Jan 19, 2008
to get a call through while Mr. Nelms is in jail? I just need to know......the job offer - is that still good?? hee hee What a loser!!
angry

Palm Bay, FL

#11 Jan 19, 2008
Please remember that not only have families of the deceased been robbed, all of the Families including the Families that once owned these cemeteries have been robbed. There retirement and incomes taken from them, an old man's life's work has been ruined. I can proudly say that every member of my Family is buried at Forest Lawn, before the new owners took over. But now I worry, can I ever return to a place that has been solice and comfort and fond memories, ever be the same? Probably not.
My Thoughts

Florence, KY

#12 Jan 19, 2008
angry wrote:
Please remember that not only have families of the deceased been robbed, all of the Families including the Families that once owned these cemeteries have been robbed. There retirement and incomes taken from them, an old man's life's work has been ruined. I can proudly say that every member of my Family is buried at Forest Lawn, before the new owners took over. But now I worry, can I ever return to a place that has been solice and comfort and fond memories, ever be the same? Probably not.
Unfortunately, it is far worse than that. The taxpayers, even those who do not have any family at one of the targeted cemeteries, will be paying to maintain the cemeteries in the future. The taxpayers will be replacing the money that was stolen.
MORE CHARGES COMING

Fort Thomas, KY

#13 Jan 19, 2008
My family has a significant investment in Forest Lawn's cemetary. I have a feeling that the Nelms and all involved will be seeing more charges. Sounds like at least a federal racketeering charge is in order since state lines have been crossed. Also, would like to see what involvment the bank in Noblesville might have since my understanding is that this was the only bank that the Nelm's could find to loan them money.This has just begun and is not likely to come to an end for many years.
Local Funeral Director

South Bend, IN

#14 Jan 19, 2008
Although I am extremly upset about what has happened, please keep in mind that most of the cemetery employees had nothing to do with this. These are caring, hardworking ppl I have worked with several times. Most did not know or understand what was going on ie. receptionists, grounds keepers ect.... Pray for them now to look back and remember things that can help in the investigation. Help keep clean the profession I so love, non of us should have to prove ourselves over & over again because of these disquesting ppl, but we (I) will.
LVG

United States

#15 Jan 20, 2008
My heart aches for these families who have been betrayed. I feel for them and the employees who have all been used, abused and lied to. Families put their faith and trust in funeral home and cemetery personnel to properly handle the final arrangements and disposal of their loved one. I have been married to a funeral director who has been in the business for 25+ years. NEVER has he compromised a family, his beliefs, his principles or his ethics in the name of the almighty dollar. The Nelmses put a black mark on the honest employees of this sacred industry. As with many things in life, you will hear the evil before the good. These people need to suffer all the pain, humiliation and financial burden they can. At least people like my husband can sleep at night, look himself in the mirror the next day, and uphold the oath he believes in to serve families in a professional, dignified and honest manner.
Sally O Straw

Joliet, IL

#16 Jan 21, 2008
I find it amazing the picture of a happy married couple painted to the employees, as well as the quote, " these are just rumors and there is no truth to them" as told to employees a meer 2 weeks ago. Though the "cash call" letter mailed to every open account holder, the lack of raises for the time they owned the company, as well as the usual cut backs made of employees and funds available to purchase needed items such as grass seed, fill dirt, gravel and such should have been a red flag to employees. I wish them all the remaining employees the best of luck.
Dear Angry

Clarksburg, IN

#17 Jan 23, 2008
angry wrote:
Please remember that not only have families of the deceased been robbed, all of the Families including the Families that once owned these cemeteries have been robbed. There retirement and incomes taken from them, an old man's life's work has been ruined. I can proudly say that every member of my Family is buried at Forest Lawn, before the new owners took over. But now I worry, can I ever return to a place that has been solice and comfort and fond memories, ever be the same? Probably not.
The former owners got 13 mil as a down payment and 1 mil cash for the house they sold to Rob & Deb, surely the Meyers funded their retirement with that!
Dave Johnson

AOL

#18 Jan 23, 2008
A good question to be asked: Why did the previous owners surrender all control of the trust acounts before the total amount of the sale of the cemetery was paid in full. As it turns out, these funds were stolen 8 days after the new purchaser made only a down payment for the cemetery. These funds should have been in control, or at least supervised by the seller until the purchase was paid in full. If that had been done, this debacle would not have occured. The community's best interest was not protected and was left wide open for what has now happened.
Jack Keller

United States

#19 Jan 24, 2008
I have prepaid my funeral for myself and my wife at Forest Lawn Memory Gardens in Greenwood.Is there anyway that we can find out for sure if our plan is still safe or not. I am 70 and not in very good health and would like to have peace of mind.
Dear Jack

Clarksburg, IN

#20 Jan 24, 2008
Jack Keller wrote:
I have prepaid my funeral for myself and my wife at Forest Lawn Memory Gardens in Greenwood.Is there anyway that we can find out for sure if our plan is still safe or not. I am 70 and not in very good health and would like to have peace of mind.
Your funeral arrangements can be transferred to any other funeral home, that is the beauty of it; it's transferrable to ANY place. The other funeral home you select can help you research your prepaid items to confirm they are safe.
I hope you find positive information.
Buyer and seller

AOL

#21 Jan 24, 2008
Dave Johnson wrote:
A good question to be asked: Why did the previous owners surrender all control of the trust acounts before the total amount of the sale of the cemetery was paid in full. As it turns out, these funds were stolen 8 days after the new purchaser made only a down payment for the cemetery. These funds should have been in control, or at least supervised by the seller until the purchase was paid in full. If that had been done, this debacle would not have occured. The community's best interest was not protected and was left wide open for what has now happened.
That's the a stupid statement! Cemetery and Funeral trust's are protected buy the law...If the law is broken by the buyer AND by the trust company they all should go to jail...I have not seen anything about the trust officers. What's going on with them? In my opinion, they are as bad as the Nelms. All they had to do is say no.

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