Mortuary owner accused of defrauding county coroner’s office

MADERA, Calif. (AP) – A Central California mortuary owner has been arrested on charges she’s been bilking Madera County on coroner’s services.

The Fresno Bee reports that Smith Manor Grace Chapel co-owner Sharlane Smith was arrested Thursday for overbilling the county at least $110,000 over a four-year period.

Smith Manor has held the county contract since 2004 and it was responsible for the transportation, storage, autopsy facilities and dispositions of deceased persons in the county.

Sheriff Jay Varne says business records were seized and are being checked and that the total amount defrauded could be much higher.

The Fresno Bee says no one was answering the phone at the mortuary Thursday and a knock at the door of the mortuary was not answered.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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