The director of a well-known Springfield funeral home, Robert C. Henry II, was convicted in federal court for the theft of more than $180,000 in Social Security benefits.
Henry, one of the owners of the Robert C. Henry Funeral Home, pleaded guilty to the charge of public theft in September 2016 in a southwestern Ohio court.
Here’s four things to know about Henry, how he was convicted on the charge and the future of the home.
1. Collecting on benefits he wasn’t owed
Prosecutors allege in federal court documents that Henry collected a total of $180,927.44 in Title II Retirement and Survivor’s Insurance benefits over a period of 15 years on a woman who died over whom he had power of attorney. Multiple calls to Henry’s federal public defender and his family members haven’t been returned.
2. “…I was convicted of a crime I was responsible for, but did not commit.”
In a letter to the Ohio Board of Funeral Embalmers and Funeral Directors, Henry said after the woman died, her benefit checks continued to be issued. He also says in the letter, he could neither locate the woman’s family after her death nor prove the family had actually received the money from the checks he forwarded. He was ordered to repay the money, which he is doing with his own personal funds, and serve up to three years of probation.
3. License under review
When filing for his funeral director’s license to be renewed earlier this year, the state board alleged he lied on his application form by stating “no” when a question asked if he has been found guilty of, or plead guilty or no contest to a felony. As it contradicts the plea he made in 2016, the Board of Funeral Embalmers and Funeral Directors unanimously charged him with unprofessional conduct, a violation that allows them to suspend or revoke his license at their discretion. According to Ohio’s license check web site, Henry II’s license remains active at this time.
4. Staff hired by former employee
Jerry W. Kinley, a funeral director and former employee of the Henry home, said he has hired staff members from there and plans to open a new facility to serve the Springfield community soon.
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