Winnipeg (November 9, 2020) – The Winnipeg police charged former local funeral director, Chad Robert Wheeler, for defrauding families out of their prepaid funeral costs. He has been charged with Fraud Over $5,000. 76 prepaid funeral plans were sold at Wheeler Funeral Home between February 2006 and February 2018, where the funds were allegedly not appropriately remitted to the corresponding insurance company. In total, 139 victims reported losses of $300,000.
The Winnipeg police charged former funeral director, Chad Robert Wheeler, with fraud in connection with prepaid funeral plans, according to a police press release. He is accused of defrauding former clients of Wheeler Funeral Home out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Fraud in connection with prepaid funeral plans
In April 2018, Winnipeg police’s Financial Crimes Unit launched an investigation into allegations of fraud at the Wheeler Funeral Home. As a licensed Funeral Director, the 46-year-old Wheeler operated the business.
Investigators discovered that between February 2006 and February 2018, 76 pre-arranged funeral plans were sold without the funds being remitted to the corresponding insurance company. This way, Wheeler’s customers allegedly lost $75,000. Moreover, officers uncovered additional fraudulent activities between August 2006 and December 2017, totaling $50,000. The police did not disclose further details about these ‘fraudulent activities’.
A total of 139 victims reported losses of $300,000 to the police in connection with Wheeler Funeral Home.
Winnipeg Funeral Director charged with fraud
The Winnipeg police charged Wheeler with one overall count of Fraud Over $5,000. He was released on an Undertaking and is scheduled to appear in court in January 2021.
Already in March 2018, the Court of Queen’s Bench ordered Wheeler Funeral Home into receivership and appointed a trustee. As a result, the police were made aware of several individuals who had purchased the prepaid funeral plans but were unable to ascertain the status of these plans.
Reportedly, Wheeler had his funeral director license revoked last year after multiple clients came forward with complaints including missing money, mixed-up ashes, and twice-sold cemetery plots.
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Marina Burghard writes for Canadian Fraud News about fraud-related cases, whistleblower, jurisdiction, identity theft, consumer protection, etc. – essentially about scams and how to protect yourself against this kind of fraudulent criminal behavior. She holds a Master’s degree in Political Science where her interest in criminology grew. Besides fraud, Marina’s scientific interest lies in terrorism, extremism and how to deal with it as a society.