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Funeral Home Director Charged With Fraud to Undergo Competency Exam

John Olszewski, 57, who operated funeral homes in New Haven, New Baltimore and Richmond, faces three counts of funeral contract fraud.

The owner of defunct funeral homes in New Baltimore, New Haven and Richmond was ordered Thursday to undergo competency and culpability exams for his contract fraud case.

A shackled John Olszewski, 57, appeared in Macomb County Jail inmate garb before Judge William Hackel for a preliminary exam in New Baltimore on charges he committed contract fraud out of Duncan-Olszewski Funeral Home in New Haven. The exam was adjourned, pending the outcome of the mental health exams.

Oslzewski's daughter, who declined to give her name, said afterward she would be willing to take guardianship over her father if the court deems he's incapable of making decisions for himself.

She was accompanied by Oslzewski family friend Rochelle Cuchard who said she tried in 2010 to go through his financials records for him, but they were in such disarray, she gave up.

"I think it was just very bad business-keeping," Cuchard said. "He didn't keep very good records ever."

She and his daughter said they do not believe he deliberately took advantage of clients or their families, but that he could not keep track of business dealings dating back several years ago when he operated funeral homes in New Baltimore and Richmond. The New Baltimore business, .

New Haven police accuse Olszewski of failing to set up escrow funds for pre-paid funerals and selling pre-paid funeral contracts without a valid license. The state has revoked Olszewski and the funeral home's mortuary science license and ordered him to pay thousands of dollars in restitution.

The three charges stem from the local victims losing a combined amount of money less than $20,000 to the funeral home director, New Haven Detective Sgt. Renee Yax said.

During the Thursday court appearance, Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor Sian Hengeveld told the judge that more complaints may follow in light of the charges. Hengeveld declined to speak further about the case after the proceedings.

Yax said by late that afternoon, police received about five calls, some from alleged victims, for their ongoing investigation.

"There's definitely more charges coming," she said.

Defense lawyer James Hogan of Clinton Township was not immediately available to comment for this story.

Olszewski is being held in lieu of two $10,000 or 10% bonds and one $25,000 or 10% bond. Since results for the mental evaluations could take several months, another court date has not been set, according to the district court.

Frank May 12, 2012 at 07:25 PM
John is not guilty.
Maria Wolfgang June 03, 2012 at 01:36 PM
I bet you are right Frank!! The wife took the money and ran. Timing and the demise of the business makes too much sense. Bet she is living good, wonder who drove the poor guy incompetent?
mark vinditti November 14, 2012 at 04:09 AM
John is guilty! Just look at the funeral homes history. This man has lost two funeral homes on tax Leins and did not follow proper licensing to handle preneeds. He knew better as a licensed funeral director! He should be ashamed of himself to blame the ex wife in the end. It dosent take a scientist to figure it out. Wonder why the wife is a ex! Mark Vinditti

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