Detroit funeral home shut down over violations claims

The Detroit News

State officials have ordered a Detroit funeral home to shut down amid claims its operators violated laws and used “fraud, deceit or dishonesty in the practice of mortuary science,” investigators announced Wednesday.

The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has summarily suspended the prepaid funeral and cemetery sales registration as well as the mortuary science establishment license of Jarzembowski Funeral Home Inc. The individual mortuary science license of owner Thomas F. Jarzembowski also was suspended while department bureaus issued cease-and-desist orders forbidding sales of funeral goods and service there, representatives said in statement.

The actions followed an audit that found records associated with the home’s prepaid funeral sales contracts had multiple violations of the state Prepaid Funeral and Cemetery Sales Act and Occupational Code, according to the release. Those include failing to escrow nearly $200,000 for prepaid funeral goods or services related to 43 prepaid funeral contracts and failing to deposit money with an authorized escrow agent within 30 days of receipt, the state alleged Wednesday.

“A person who converts funds paid pursuant to a prepaid contract to his or her own use or benefit other than as authorized by the Prepaid Act or who fails to escrow or trust funds according to the Prepaid Act is guilty of a felony punishable by a fine of $5,000 or imprisonment of not more than 5 years, or both, for each violation,” the release said.

Other violations of the act are misdemeanors punishable by maximum fine of $1,000 and imprisonment for not more than one year.

The funeral home on West Warren has 60 days to either assign its prepaid contracts to another person registered under the Prepaid Act or cancel them and issue refunds to buyers, state officials said Wednesday.

The operators have a right to request a hearing within 30 days, LARA reported.

Funeral home representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Anyone who has questions or concerns about Jarzembowski Funeral Home can reach the Securities & Audit Division within LARA’s Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing bureau at (517) 335-5237 or