Cemetery owner set to plead guilty to tax evasion - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Cemetery owner set to plead guilty to tax evasion

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - A cemetery owner charged with helping steal millions from funeral home trust funds in three states is expected to plead guilty to tax evasion next week.

Clayton Smart appeared in federal court Wednesday. Judge Samuel Mays approved a deal reached by prosecutors and defense attorneys to have the tax evasion charge from Oklahoma transferred to Memphis.

They also agreed to move the 71-year-old Smart from state custody to federal prison in Tennessee.

Smart was indicted in April 2007. The former oilman and others were accused of diverting $20 million from Forest Hill cemetery trust funds over 2 1/2 years for personal use.

Smart also earlier agreed to plead to several state counts from Tennessee and Michigan, including theft of property of $60,000.

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