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 Sheriff Holding Dan Greene at Henry Co. Jail

January 23, 2008 - A former Knightstown funeral home owner charged in 2004 with bilking customers out of more than $17,500 is now in the custody of Henry County authorities.

Dan Greene, who owned and operated the now-defunct Greene's Funeral Home, was arrested December 27 in Burlington, Ky., on a warrant related to three theft charges pending against him in Henry Superior Court 2. On December 31, Henry County officers drove to Kentucky and picked up Greene, who apparently had been residing in Burlington, and brought him back to the Henry County Jail, where he is being held on an $18,000 cash bond.

The three theft charges Greene faces - each one a Class D felony carrying a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a $10,000 fine - are based on allegations he took money for pre-arranged funeral services he never provided. A pretrial conference is set for March 10 and a jury trial is scheduled for April 9. According to a spokesperson for the Boone County (Ky.) Sheriff's Department, one of their deputies who was driving behind Greene on the evening of December 27 decided to run a check on his vehicle's license plate. Once the deputy had Greene's name, a search of the National Crime Information Center database revealed the warrant on the Henry County theft charges, and the deputy stopped Greene and arrested him.

Although not properly licensed as a funeral director by the state of Indiana since 1996, Greene, 60, is believed to have continued to operate his Knightstown funeral home until at least sometime in 2002. He left the state without refunding thousands of dollars he had received for pre-arranged funeral services that had not been provided.

In 1997, Paul Cox paid Greene $8,317.50 for pre-arranged services. Unable to contact Greene when their father died in March 2003, Cox's children had to pay another local funeral home for the same services that had already been purchased through Greene.

Former Knightstown resident Charles Stevens paid Greene $4,985 in 2002 for pre-arranged services. After reading The Banner's April 2003 story about the problems the Cox family and others had with Greene, Stevens, who was living in a Greenfield nursing home, turned to Indiana Legal Services Organization for assistance. Stevens' LSO lawyer was able to get him a full reimbursement in July 2004 through a special state fund set up to help people who lose money on pre-arranged funeral service contracts that are not honored. This refund allowed Stevens to make plans with another Knightstown funeral home prior to his death in early 2006. Knightstown resident Martha Anderson paid Greene $4,223 for pre-arranged services in 2000. Although she, like Stevens, was also successful in getting a full reimbursement through the state fund, she said she was glad Greene was finally caught.

"He should do his time," said Anderson. "He should give every dollar back."

Crystal Francis, the LSO attorney who represented Stevens in 2004, also welcomed the news of Greene's arrest. "I'm really happy that this guy's been caught," she said. While pleased she was able to get Stevens reimbursed, Francis said she was concerned there may still be people out there in the same situation. "They might not know until they need the service that there's a problem," Francis said. "They would be the people who are really at risk - those who don't know about this, or their families who won't know … that what they thought had been taken care of was not taken care of."

According to Tracy Hicks, director of the Indiana Board of Funeral and Cemetery Services, the state's Preneed Consumer Protection Fund reimbursed eight people who never received pre-arranged funeral services they or family members bought from Greene. The payments, issued between July 2004 and last October, ranged from a low of $500 to a high of $6,568.75, and totaled $30,826.54.

Anyone who purchased pre-arranged funeral services from Dan Green or Greene's Funeral Home that were never provided should contact Hicks and request State Form No. 46220 - "Verified Complaint Requesting Restitution from the Preneed Consumer Fund," or get the form online at Completed forms should be returned to the Board of Funeral and Cemetery Services' office at 402 W. Washington St., Rm. W-072.

Persons over 60 years of age who have questions or need legal assistance getting a reimbursement can contact Phyllis Taylor at Indiana Legal Services Organization's Senior Law Project at (800) 869-0212, ext. 2222. If certain income guidelines are met, LSO will also provide legal assistance to persons under the age of 60.

Henry County Prosecutor Kit Crane said that anyone who paid Greene for pre-arranged funeral services that were not provided should contact the Henry County Sheriff's Department's Criminal Investigations Division at (765) 529-5669.