An Evansville woman is behind bars after defrauding a grieving family over $18,000 meant to cover burial and memorial expenses for a deceased child.
On September 7th, deputies said they were called to Alexander Memorial Park for a reported fraud. Caroline Marie Rich, 47, worked as a Family Service Counselor for Dignity Memorial/SCI Shared Resources which owns Alexander Memorial Park.
Rich worked with the family of Oliver Dill, who passed away after he was mistakenly left in a hot car at the University of Southern Indiana back in July.
Using money from their personal accounts and money raised through a GoFundMe, the Dill family paid a total of $19,273 for the plots and headstones. Rich received these payments via PayPal money transfers and personal checks made out to her.
Soon, the Dill family began receiving invoices showing a substantial outstanding balance was owed on the account. The family questioned these invoices and Dignity Memorial began an internal investigation.
Detectives with the Sheriff’s Office say Rich stole a total of $18,273.01 save $1,000.
On Sept. 11th, deputies said Rich came to the Operations Center with her attorney for an interview. Rich initially stated that she took the funds with the intention of helping the family but when detectives began questioning her story, she declined to speak further.
Rich was arrested and taken to the Vanderburgh County Jail where she will be held without bond pending a court appearance.
She faces three counts of fraud and three counts of theft, all level six felonies.
Dignity Memorial has cooperated fully with the investigation and will refund any overage on the account charged by Rich as well as absorb the loss on the remaining balance.
For the full report, click here.
Photo Courtesy: the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office