Former cemetery employee arrested for writing customer's checks - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Former cemetery employee arrested for writing customer's checks to herself

Michelle Straub (Source: SCSO) Michelle Straub (Source: SCSO)

A former cemetery employee sits in jail accused of stealing nearly $20,000 from three separate customer accounts associated with the business.

Michelle Straub, 40, headed up the advanced planning team at Memorial Park Cemetery on Poplar Avenue.  The alleged theft happened between July 10, 2014 and April 17, 2015.

According to court records, Straub was fired from the business on May 13, 2015.

The general manager at the business told police she would receive checks from customers to pay on their accounts. The customers would leave the space payable blank on the check. Straub would then write her name on the check and cash the checks. She also allegedly stole cash from the business.

"These were families who were making advanced plans," said Memorial Park Funeral Home and Cemetery General Manager Richard Williams.

Williams told police he confronted Straub about the theft and she admitted to stealing the money, then she paid more than $6,000 toward the amount she stole, according to court documents.

"We can't have a member of our staff that we can trust that our customers can't trust," said Williams.

Williams says he got news of the alleged forgery from one of the families.

"An account they thought was paid in full, they were getting collection letters," said Williams.

Shortly after the general manager filed the report, he told WMC Action News 5 he fired Straub and called state regulators immediately.

"We honored everything, each of the four families," said Williams.

Williams told WMC Action News 5 an internal review was done to make sure this never happens again.

Straub told investigators she was in rehab.  She was taken into custody on Wednesday and is at the Shelby County jail on a $3,000 bond.

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