NILES — A Berrien Springs funeral home owner will be sentenced May 2 for embezzling more than $260,000 of people's prepaid funeral funds over the last several years.
Matthew Purchase, 40, of East Washington Street in Berrien Springs, is the owner of Legacy Family Funeral Services in Berrien Springs. He was arrested last August on 15 embezzlement related charges and faced a March 8 trial.
Thursday, Purchase pleaded guilty to two counts, one count of racketeering and conducting a criminal enterprise, a 20-year felony, and one count of attempted embezzlement over $20,000, a five-year felony.
His criminal activity occurred over several years, from Jan. 1, 2004 to July 27, 2010 during which time he took clients' money for prepaid funeral services and converted the funds to his own use.