Man accused of swindling money from people purchasing caskets faces new charges


by WHAS11

Posted on February 20, 2014 at 8:52 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 21 at 7:40 AM

SELLERSBURG, Ind. (WHAS11) -- A Sellersburg, Ind. man is facing new charges after prosecutors say he swindled money from people purchasing caskets for their loved ones.

These are just the latest charges in a long investigation into theft and deception into Robert Kraft.

Gail O'Neil says she gave about $3,500 to Kraft for a special casket for her mother.

Her 85-year-old mother had just been placed in Hospice care and she was trying to get her final arrangements in order.

“The way he deceived people, people don’t deserve that,” O’Neil said.

He told her he sold caskets and his paperwork seemed legit.

“I just was in awe and shock that he would be a person of this stature,” O’Neil said.

Court documents show when she gave him the money she never heard from him again.

O'Neil did hear from investigators that she wasn't the only one who'd given him money and didn't get a casket.

“It is very important when people make these sorts of purchases that they make sure they are dealing with a reputable dealer and make sure their money is where it is supposed to be,” Clark County Deputy Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said.

Jeremy Mull filed charges on Thursday, Feb. 20, for Kraft out of Clark County, Ind. Kraft is already facing charges out of Kentucky after the state's Attorney General got involved.

Kraft once worked for a casket company and told people he still did even after the business closed.

“He was able to locate these people and approach them and offered to sell them coffins or funeral merchandise and instead of keeping the money in a trust or escrow he used the money for personal needs and desires,” Mull said.

Authorities say they are investigating eight cases and Kraft got away with more than $30,000.

“I feel so much that he has betrayed people’s trust not only in him but in human faith and I just feel sorry for him,” O’Neil said.