Vanderburgh Co. Sheriff finds three more families Caroline Rich allegedly defrauded

Local News

UPDATE

Alexander Funeral Home has released a statement after additional charges were brought against Caroline Rich.

The funeral home says they’re disappointed about this, but they’re unable to discuss the matter as it is an ongoing investigation.

“We are disappointed to learn of the additional charges brought against former associate Caroline Rich and we are taking the incident very seriously. However due to the ongoing investigation, we are unable to discuss this matter with the media.”

Original Story

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s office has arrested 37-year-old Caroline Rich on additional charges stemming from a fraud and theft investigation into her activities as a family services counselor at Alexander Funeral Homes.

Rich had already been charged with defrauding Oliver Dill’s grieving family of $18,000 which was supposed to help pay for the child’s funeral costs.

The money was raised through a Go-Fund-Me account and included money from the grieving family.

3-year-old Dill had died as a result of being left in a hot car.

In continuing their investigation, the Sheriff’s Office has identified three additional families that have been taken advantage of and defrauded by Rich.

In the first incident, Rich worked with a family to pre-plan a funeral for a couple who had utilized Alexander for the funerals of other family members

This couple paid a total of $8,832.22 towards what they believed to be goods and services related to their funerals.

These payments were made to Rich’s personal PayPal account and they were provided with fraudulent invoices and receipts.

Alexander was never paid, and Rich apparently kept the money.

In the second, similar, incident a client wished to pre-plan services for herself and her mother also paid for a marker for her deceased brother.

Again, the client paid money, a total of$9,223.00, to Rich’s PayPal account to cover the cost,

And again, Alexander was never actually paid and Rich apparently kept the money.

In the final instance, Rich advised a client to pay her directly, via check, for memory books of her deceased husband.

Rich told the client that she would, in turn, order the books herself, using her employee discount.

Rich never ordered the books and apparently kept the money.

The investigation into Rich’s activities is continuing and the Sheriff’s Office believes more victims will likely be identified.

Sheriff Dave Wedding stated, “I strongly urge anyone who has made arrangements with Rich to look over their paperwork and contact Alexander if they believe any impropriety has occurred. We would particularly ask that anyone who has pre-planned funeral arrangements through Rich make contact, as years could pass before these services would be needed. Sheriff Wedding added, “The staff at Alexander could not have been more helpful during this investigation. We are sincerely grateful for their cooperation and willingness to see t that every victim is identified.”

Rich was arrested Wednesday evening without incident and taken to the Vanderburgh County Jail where she is being held without bond until making a court appearance.

Sheriff Wedding is also asking anyone who pre-planned a funeral through Rich in the past four years to call David Hatchett with the funeral home at 812-422-1674.

In a statement to Eyewitness News, officials with Alexander Funeral Home and their parent company, SCI Shared Resources said, “We are disappointed to learn of the additional charges brought against former associate Caroline Rich and we are taking the incident very seriously. However due to the ongoing investigation, we are unable to discuss this matter with the media.”

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(This story was originally published on Sept. 27, 2019)

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