Three men accused of siphoning funds from funeral home they ran
Three men entrusted with running McChesney Funeral Home in Moorestown are now facing criminal charges after Burlington County Prosecutors say they allegedly siphoned over $1,300,000.00 in company funds and put the money into personal bank accounts between 2008 and 2016.
Ronald Zale, 58, of Saratoga Road in Stratford and his brother Raymond, 60, of Buttonwood Drive in Stratford and Ray's son Sean, 32, of Larkspur Circle in Sicklerville all face two counts of 2nd Degree Theft by Deception.
All three men had been hired by the owner of the now closed McChesney Funeral Home (2016), to run the business following a business arrangement that dates back to the 1980's.
Raymond and Ronald would oversee the operations of the funeral home while Sean served in other roles such as driving.
Questions about possible illegal activity began to surface when the funeral home closed its doors.
Investigators discovered in 2016 that Raymond and Ronald Zale allegedly neglected to file documents with the State Board of Mortuary Science of New Jersey to renew the McChesney license causing it to lapse and leading to the closure of the funeral home.
From 2008 through 2016 Prosecutors say nearly $2.35 million in payments for services that should have gone to the McChesney Funeral Home were instead diverted into accounts controlled by the Zale trio.
During that time payments of just over $1,000,000.00 were made from the Zale accounts to McChesney Funeral Home in order to keep the business up and running.
The result is a net diversion from the McChesney Funeral Home by Raymond, Ronald and Sean Zale of $1,315,894.77.
The investigation also found that the McChesney Funeral Home made payments totaling $775,518.00 to the Zales for their services and expenses during that same period.
Prosecutors add that the funds given by two customers to McChesney for pre-paid funerals were deposited by Raymond Zale into his business and personal accounts.
New Jersey regulations governing the operation of funeral homes require that funds paid for this purpose must be deposited into an interest-bearing trust account on behalf of the customer.
The Zale family also owns and operates Eugene Zale Funeral Home in Stratford, Eichel Funeral Home in Pennsauken, and Middleton Stroble Zale Funeral Home in Somers Point.
Ronald and Sean were processed and released Friday by the Moorestown Township Police Department.
Raymond was unable to be processed at that time due to a medical condition.
The case is going to be presented to a Burlington County Grand Jury to be considered for indictment.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Andrew McDonnell, supervisor of the BCPO Financial Crimes Unit.
The investigation was conducted by detectives from the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office and Moorestown Police.
The lead investigators are BCPO Detective Wayne J. Comegno and Moorestown Police Detective Donald Brauckmann.
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