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Greeley funeral home owner accused of bilking customers, state

7:22 PM, Dec 6, 2012   |    comments
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Police also accuse Paul Acuna of double dipping, charging indigent families money for services as well as getting payment from the state.

According to one arrest affidavit, Acuna is accused of falsifying documents in 10 cases, charging the state more than $12,000.

Police say he's on the run and could be in San Diego, Calif. Acuna also has ties to Mexico.

He's wanted in Weld County for 10 counts of forgery and theft, as well as two counts of theft from an at-risk adult.

Acuna ran Paul's Funeral Service at 2005 9th Street, Suite #1 in Greeley.

Court documents say Acuna was providing funeral services to low income families and was sending dual invoices to them and the Department of Human Services.

DHS has a funeral program that provides assistance to low income families who can't afford the full cost of the funeral.

If the families can't afford a full priced funeral, they could apply for DHS assistance that can be granted based on various factors, including employment and income. DHS determines how much the families qualify for and pay for the arrangements with the maximum cost covered by the state of $2,500.

According to the police report, Acuna would send the funeral contract to DHS - not exceeding $2,500 - but the final contract sent to the family would exceed that amount. Investigators say in those cases the families should have either not received DHS funeral assistance or Acuna should have given the money back to the state or not provided additional services to the family.

In a second arrest affidavit, Acuna is accused of taking money from people who were pre-paying for funeral services; he wasn't licensed to do so.

He also signed contracts with customers promising to transfer the money to another funeral home if need be.

Police say his customers pre-paid him thousands of dollars for future funerals, but found Acuna's shop closed and the money gone.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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