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Owners of Penrose funeral home where 190 decaying bodies were found charged with COVID fraud

Funeral Home
Posted at 4:17 PM, Apr 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-16 08:57:46-04

DENVER — Federal authorities have indicted the owners of a Penrose funeral home after accusations they fraudulently obtained pandemic relief funds from the U.S. government.

The husband and wife already face state charges of corpse abuse after 190 decaying bodies were discovered in their funeral home’s facility last year. The "horrific" discovery was made after neighbors reported a foul odor near the 2,500-square-foot building, located in the community of Penrose 33 miles south of Colorado Springs.

The new charges filed last Wednesday against Jon and Carie Hallford include 13 counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and are the latest example of the owners’ alleged lies, money laundering, forgery and manipulation over the past four years, devastating hundreds of grieving families.

A federal indictment alleges that the Hallfords provided false information to the U.S. Small Business Administration to obtain relief funds totaling $882,300 by misrepresenting facts, including owed back child support and by claiming that their business was not engaged in criminal activity at the time they applied, according to a news release from the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado.

The Hallfords are also accused of using the money they got from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for personal purposes instead of using such funds for the operation of their business, the news release read.

Additionally, the federal indictment alleges that the Hallfords defrauded their funeral home customers by not providing a cremation or burial for the deceased as promised.

The Hallfords made their initial appearances Monday before Judge Scott T. Varholak.

Records had shown the couple were being held at the El Paso County Jail under an FBI hold over the weekend. However, jail staff confirmed to KOAA-TV that the Hallfords were transferred to another agency just before 8:30 a.m. Monday.

The Hallfords’ attorneys didn’t immediately return phone messages and emails seeking comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Owners of a Colorado funeral home where 190 decaying bodies were found charged with COVID fraud

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