Attorney General’s office handling R.O. Savage case

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STANDISH — A Jan. 29 letter from the Arenac County Prosecutor’s Office says the Michigan Attorney General’s office is currently handling the R.O. Savage Funeral Chapel case.

The letter said the prosecutor’s office received several inquiries from potential victims, and that people who believe they could be victims should send a letter to the Attorney General’s office.

Joy Yearout, a spokesperson with the Attorney General’s Office, told the Independent Jan. 30 that she could not comment as to whether the case was or was not being investigated by the Attorney General’s Office.

While the state office could not comment as to its involvement in the case, it is possible the issue could be handled locally after it the Attorney General’s office completes its review, according to the letter from the county office.

“The Attorney General’s Office could not say whether this case would end up in our local prosecutor office, or if they would be handling it all the way through completion,” the letter said.

Arenac County Prosecuting Attorney Curt Broughton said he has not been in contact with anyone from the Attorney General’s Office, but does know they were in the area about two weeks ago searching for funeral home records. Broughton told the Independent Jan. 30 that he tried to contact the state office, and hopes to receive some clarity on its involvement.

“They may fill me in on what they are doing, so when people call we can tell them,” he said.

The majority of the questions received by Broughton’s office have dealt with prepaid funeral monies, he said.

“People who have prepaid for the funerals want to know if the money’s still there,” he said. “And then, we’ve had questions how to get death certificates now that the funeral home isn’t operating, but I think most of them have been about the prepaid funerals.”

Potential victims can send letters to Attorney General’s Office, Criminal Division, 3030 W. Grand Blvd., Suite 10200, Detroit, MI 48202.

Letters to the Attorney General should include possible victims’ names or the names on the contracts with the funeral home, addresses, telephone numbers and the amount of money they paid to the funeral home, according to the prosecutor’s office.

According to a Jan. 17 press release from the state Licensing and Regulatory Affairs agency, an investigation into the chapel found three alleged violations. Alleged violations include the failure to escrow more than $600,000 of prepaid funeral contracts, the sale of 162 prepaid funeral contracts totaling more than $580,000 while unlicensed, and operating without a licensed manager. The agency suspended the funeral chapel’s license after reporting the alleged violations.

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