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Former Girard funeral home director sentenced for theft

Patrick McClurkin pleaded guilty to theft charges and violation of a prepaid funeral contract last year

WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) - A former Girard funeral director was sentenced Wednesday for stealing $400,000 from 75 customers.

Patrick McClurkin was sentenced to five years of probation, with the conditions of serving 90 days of electronically-monitored house arrest and paying restitution of $204,268 to victims not covered by insurance by January 1, 2017. He also has to write letters of apology to his victims.

McClurkin accepted a plea agreement last year, pleading guilty to theft from an elderly or disabled person, grand theft and violation of a prepaid funeral contract. His sentencing had been postponed several times, up until this point.

In exchange for the plea deal, McClurkin will have to testify against his brother, Robert.

Prosecutors say both Patrick and Robert McClurkin stole the money from people who had put down money for prepaid funeral contracts.

"There was a program to provide for people's final needs. People elected to get insurance policies, and they were never given insurance policies in exchange for the payment form," said Prosecutor Chuck Morrow.

The Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors said McClurkin Funeral Home violated Ohio laws regarding the placement of money received for prepaid funeral contracts. McClurkin's license was suspended in September 2013, following an investigation.

McClurkin made a statement to the judge during his sentencing hearing on Wednesday, telling him that he "had a lot of remorse" in the crime.

His attorney, Jeffrey Goodman, said his client was taking responsibility for the actions of the company.

"Pat recognizes he is a shareholder in the business," he said. "He was one of the owners, regardless of his role in the day-to-day operations of the business, he has responsibility. He's here today to step up and take that responsibility."

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