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The Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association said Thursday the group is pleased with the sentence issued to a former Mechanicsburg funeral home director who defrauded over 100 clients.

, 52, who owned the former Myers Funeral Home, was sentenced in Cumberland County court Thursday to 5 to 10 years in state prison on 558 charges that include deceptive business practices, insurance fraud, misapplication of entrusted property and dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities.

Kathleen Ryan, general counsel and chief operating officer for the association, said the actions of Myers are a disgrace to the hardworking and honest funeral directors who serve throughout the state.

She said the organization is pleaded the court took this seriously and handed out a significant sentence that reflects the magnitude of this crime.

Ryan hopes it sends a strong message that any funeral director who violates the public s trust by stealing prepaid funeral funds will be punished.

And while it s never good when a member of one's profession does something like this, she said she hopes people know that the vast majority of funeral directors are honest, hardworking and caring.

The good news, she said, is the new owner, Bob Buhrig, has put together a rescue program, crediting each victim the with full principal, plus interest, on the funds that were stolen. So far, the program has benefitted 33 families.

The new Buhrig-Myers Funeral Home and Crematory is its own organization, and is in no way affiliated with Myers.

Myers had pleaded guilty to the charges Sept. 12.

Shortly after his plea, with no agreed-upon sentence, was entered,

Cumberland County First Assistant District Attorney Jaime Keating said Thursday he is pleased with the sentence, adding a 5-to-10-year term is significant.

We re satisfied with the sentence, Keating said. A lot of families have been impacted, so I wouldn t say anyone is happy with the situation, but a lot of people are relieved, and can rest easier because of the sentence today.

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