HONOLULU (AP) - An Oahu mortuary owner has been charged with stealing more than $90,000 in death benefits that were supposed to go survivors of those on state assistance.
A grand jury on Thursday indicted Claus Hansen on 29 counts of theft, money laundering and racketeering. The indictment alleges Hansen, who owns Affordable Casket & Moanalua Mortuary, pocketed Funeral Payments Program money between April 2009 and May 2013.
Survivors of people on Medicaid-funded state assistance can apply for up to $800 to help pay for burial, cremation and funeral services. The benefit had been paid to vendors, who were supposed to reimburse survivors.
The state Department of Human Services, whose Med-Quest division administers the program, has since made changes to allow survivors to receive the money directly, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser (https://ow.ly/M51vu ) reported.
Hansen told The Associated Press on Friday that he would be issuing a statement to the media later.
Authorities first raided the Mapunapuna business in May 2013, and investigators from the state attorney general’s office seized files and computers. Hansen was arrested but later released without facing charges.
Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, https://www.staradvertiser.com
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