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Funeral Director Admits Forgeries, SSA Fraud, Thefts from Clients

June 6, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Marc J. Furber, 215.348.6339, mjfurber@buckscounty.org

David Faust(3)
      David W. Faust

The owner of a Hulmeville funeral home pleaded guilty Tuesday to nine separate crimes, most of them felonies, in which he forged death certificates, stole $296,853 from 54 clients who had pre-paid for funeral expenses, and accepted more than $100,000 in government disability benefits he didn’t deserve.

David Wayne Faust, 53, owner of the Faust Funeral Home, was ordered held in lieu of $750,000 bail, 10 percent cash, by Bucks County Common Pleas Court Judge Diane E. Gibbons, who accepted the guilty pleas.

No sentencing date has been set, but Gibbons said, “The amount of money he has stolen is significant. The sentence he is facing is significant.”

Faust pleaded guilty to felony charges of theft by deception, two counts of forgery, tampering with public records, theft by failure to make required disposition of funds, deceptive business practices and identity theft; and misdemeanor charges of identity theft and falsely pretending to hold a professional or occupational license.

Faust first was arrested in April 2017, charged with falsifying death certificates by forging doctors’ signatures and with collecting more than $100,000 in Social Security disability benefits despite being able to work.

A month later, detectives executed a search warrant at the funeral home, seizing files for customers who had pre-arranged their funeral services.

A review of the files found 54 customers who had pre-paid Faust from $400 to $14,460 each for funeral services, but whose payments had not been reported by Faust to the state as required by law.

Subsequent search warrants for the funeral home’s bank records found evidence that Faust had cashed or otherwise put pre-arrangement funds to his own use.

Two of the business’s bank accounts were overdrawn, the affidavit said, and a third was frozen with a small balance as a result of a bankruptcy filing by Faust.

In some cases, Faust’s forging of death certificates, including signatures of physicians, contained accurate information and was done to meet regulatory deadlines, Deputy District Attorney Marc J. Furber told Gibbons.

In another instance, Furber said, Faust forged a death certificate in the name of a female client around the time he removed more than $8,700 from her account in 2003. The death certificate said the woman had died of small cell cancer.

Instead, Furber said, detectives found that the woman “was alive and well and living in Hulmeville, PA,” unaware that Faust had effectively declared her dead.

Most of the 54 pre-pay clients are over the age of 60, Furber said.

More than 20 of them have been repaid in part or in full through Pennsylvania’s Victims Compensation Assistance Program, but those payments amount to less than $42,000 of the total stolen by Faust. More than $255,000 remains unpaid, in addition to the money owed to the Social Security Administration.

The case was investigated by Bucks County Detectives Eric Landamia and Mark Zielinski, and by Special Agent Theresa Bray of the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General.

Office of the District Attorney
Bucks County Justice Center
100 N. Main Street
Doylestown, PA 18901 
Phone: 215-348-6344 
Fax: 215-348-6299

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