A Sellersburg man is believed to accept swindled about $35,000 out of several breadth families advancing for burying and burying casework through a casket-sales scam.
Robert M. Kraft, 53, Lane Avenue, appeared in Clark County Circuit Cloister No. 4 Monday afterwards a accreditation had been issued for his arrest.
After the cloister appearance, Kraft was appointed into the Clark County bastille for four minutes, again appear on his own recognizance, stemming from a cloister order.
Kraft has been answerable with chic C abomination alive or advised abusage or blameworthy breakdown of funds in a assurance or escrow and chic D abomination theft.
He is additionally adverse accuse in Kentucky on allegations he conducted the aforementioned adjustment on eight individuals.
A pretrial appointment has been appointed for April 28 in Clark County, and a board balloon has been set for July.
Clark County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said it makes faculty for the accompaniment to acquiesce Kraft to walk, admitting the severity and acute attributes of the allegations, because he can added calmly pay aback the declared baseborn funds if he is not incarcerated.
“[Kraft] is in the action of accumulation that money to pay the amends back, and this has been in the works for a while,” Mull said. “His [Jefferson County, Ky. accessible defender] declared me and said Kraft would about-face himself in on the warrant, if I agreed to absolution him on the band action that he abide accumulating all the money to pay aback his victims.”
Mull said he didn’t appetite Kraft to put money adjoin his bond, if those funds could be alternate to the declared victims instead.
“That would aloof accept delayed [the victims] accepting their money back, so that is why we formed out that arrangement,” he said.
Mull said he about would not acclaim a absolution with no band acquittal for a chic C abomination charge, but he advised the aftereffect on the victims, not aloof Kraft.
“In this case, a lot of the victims are earlier and in charge of the money,” he said. “It was my opinion, that it would be bigger to booty the money he had and get it to the victims quicker, rather than tie it up in a band in Clark County area it would apparently sit for a year while the case is awaiting with the victims defective that money in the meantime.”
Mull said Kraft is beneath the administration of the Jefferson County courts, area he has addition accord in abode to pay amends to those his is accused of artifice in Kentucky.
The Jeffersonville Badge Department began investigating Kraft in December afterwards one of his nine declared victims came to badge address to book a artifice report. The Jeffersonville man claimed he had paid Kraft $4,700 for two caskets beneath a pre-needs arrangement.
He told a JPD administrator that Kraft had appear to his home Sept. 12, 2012, at which time “ … Kraft had fabricated a sales angle to him about actuality an alone not with a aggregation that was affairs coffins.”
The man had never attempted to accomplish acquaintance with Kraft back the appointment at his home, and told police, “ … he was beneath the consequence that Kraft would get the coffins back [he] appropriate the charge for them,” according to the apparent account affirmation arch to Kraft’s arrest.
The man told badge he had purchased a casket for his wife and himself in 2008 or 2009 from Caskets Royale, amid in Louisville, a aggregation area Kraft was ahead employed. Caskets Royale after chock-full its operations, and checks were beatific out to those audience who had paid for pre-needs services, including the Jeffersonville man, who accustomed a acquittance in aboriginal 2012.
He told badge that months later, he accustomed a buzz alarm from Kraft cogent him he could action a pre-needs trust, according to the affidavit.
After several added buzz calls, Kraft went to the man’s home and calm two checks for $2,190 and $2,590 for acquittal of two caskets. Both of the checks were after cashed by Kraft, according to the affidavit.
The Jeffersonville man had not advised he was the victim of a artifice until he was contacted by an investigator with the Appointment of the Advocate Accepted in Kentucky, at which time he was told eight Kentucky association had filed letters of artifice adjoin Kraft for the acquirement of coffins.
A JPD investigator fabricated acquaintance with the advocate general’s appointment Jan. 6.
The Kentucky investigator after provided JPD with abstracts and a recorded account amid Kraft and advocate accepted investigators. According to the affidavit, in the recorded interview, “Kraft accepted to cashing the checks, but never purchased any of the caskets. Kraft adumbrated he would acquirement them back they were needed.”
The Appointment of Kentucky Advocate General’s address shows that Kraft was already active by Casket Royale, and that the business was purchased in 2009 by Neace Enterprises, which attenuated in 2011.
The pre-needs arrange that were purchased through Casket Royale were transferred to Neace Enterprises, and back that business closed, audience were notified that they would accept refunds for their antecedent purchases.
Kraft told board that he maintained buzz numbers that Neace Enterprises had from Casket Royale by alone advantageous the buzz bill.
“Kraft was able to access a account of those audience that accustomed refunds and contacted best of those audience alms his service,” according to the affidavit. “Victims of Robert Kraft’s adjustment declared that they were told that their caskets and vaults were actuality stored in a barn and would be accessible back needed.”
The Kentucky Advocate General’s Appointment reported, “All monies in the anatomy of analysis or banknote were acclimated to Kraft for claimed gain, this by his own admission. In total, Kraft was able to access $30,752.99 from the victims.”
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