DA: Hudson Valley Funeral Home Owner Forged Death Certificates
A funeral director in the region is accused of forging death certificates.
Leonard Scarr, 53, of Warwick, was indicted on nine felony counts stemming from an ongoing investigation being conducted by the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office and the Ramapo Police Department. Scarr is the owner of Scarr Funeral Home located in Suffern.
Last week, a Rockland County Grand Jury returned an indictment charging Scarr with nine Class D felonies. Between July 11, 2019, and October 11, 2019, on three occasions, Scarr forged three separate death certificates for three different individuals whom he had contracted with to set up designated pre-paid burial escrow accounts, officials say.
As a trustee on the accounts, Scarr could only receive an account’s funds after the death of the account holder. He's accused of presenting forged death certificates to bank representatives where the burial escrow accounts were held and withdrew the accounts’ funds, each of which exceeded $6,000.
Scarr was charged with three counts of grand larceny, three counts of forgery and three counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument.
“This is a case that strikes at the very core of community. Our own family, friends and neighbors have been deceived and defrauded by a businessperson as we plan for our future funeral expenses," Rockland County District Attorney Tom Walsh said. "My heartfelt sympathy to those who fell victim to this egregious crime.”
Other potential victims, or families who had not yet received their loved ones cremated remains from Scarr Funeral home, can contact the Rockland County District Attorney’s Investigators at 845-731-4100 or the Ramapo Police Department at 845-357-2400.