- Associated Press - Thursday, July 16, 2015

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (AP) - The former owner of a Massachusetts funeral home accused of improperly caring for dead bodies and embezzling more than $375,000 from clients has pleaded not guilty to charges of larceny and insurance fraud.

William Ryder, of South Hadley, was arraigned Wednesday in Hampshire Superior Court on charges that he and his wife allegedly defrauded a life insurance company.

This comes after the 54-year-old pleaded not guilty in June to allegedly embezzling money from clients who thought they had bought pre-need funeral arrangements and funneling the money into his own business account.

Daily Hampshire Gazette reported that Ryder’s attorney and prosecutors both agreed the case will take considerable time before it’s resolved and asked the judge to put it on a slower track.

A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Nov. 6.

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