Former Sparta funeral director pleads guilty to taking pre-need funds.
Byline: Submitted by Illinois Office of The Comptroller
SPRINGFIELD The former owner of McDaniel-Lee Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Sparta pleaded guilty last week to two counts of failure to deposit funds, according to the Illinois Comptroller's Office.
Nathan Lee was arrested and charged in November, the comptroller news release said, adding they expect sentencing to occur in September.
Meanwhile, Illinois Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza commends Randolph County authorities for pursuing justice on behalf of consumers who purchased pre-need funeral services from a local mortuary director who failed to deposit their money as required by law.
The case stemmed from an investigation by the Office of Illinois Comptroller, which administers and enforces state laws regarding pre-need funeral purchases and service delivery.
Mendoza also praised her staff, which worked closely with Sparta police and the Randolph County state's attorney on the investigation.
"People put their faith and trust in funeral directors," Mendoza said. "When consumers make the decision to pay for their arrangements in advance to take that financial burden off their survivors, they expect funeral directors to act ethically and to follow the law.
"That didn't happen in this case," Mendoza said. "I commend Randolph County State's Attorney Jeremy Walker and local authorities for their diligent work to ensure these consumers receive justice."