Reporting Andrea Menniti
STOCKTON (CBS13) – A Stockton funeral home advertising itself as family oriented and community based is accused of committing fraud against elderly victims by selling them pre-arrangement policies that don’t exist.
Police say since charges were filed against Thompson Memorial Chapel by the district attorney’s office Tuesday, a dozen more possible victims have come forward.
No one at Thompson’s would answer the door at 2102 East Lafayette St. or pick up the phone on Wednesday.
Funeral home owner Reginal Thompson is accused of stealing hundreds of dollars from at least two elderly victims who police say prepaid funeral arraignments for loved ones that they would never get.
“It’s unbelievable that man is doing stuff to people,” neighbor Sandra McKay said. “That’s just heartless.”
A San Joaquin County Superior Court judge charged Thompson with a pair of felonies Tuesday. Charges stem from eight years ago when two separate victims handed over cash for what police say turned out to be bogus funeral agreements.
The elderly victims recently took another look at the paperwork and realized something was wrong.
“When they tried to make contact with the suspect, they found out that the policies were fraudulent, and when they asked for money to be returned, they never got their money,” Stockton Police Officer Joseph Silva said.
Thompson’s business license expired a few months ago. Neighbors say they haven’t witnessed funerals take place recently.
The funeral home’s website advertises prepaying for funeral arrangements as a way to “save money if you choose to pay for your services ahead of time.”
“Family members pass on and you have this man here who takes their money,” McKay said. “It’s just crazy.”
Detectives are following up on leads from the new claims. If those pan out, Thompson could face more felony charges.