Funeral Home HORRORS: Colorado Funeral Home Owners Facing Jail Time For BLOWING Relief Funds

By Jennifer Wentworth | Wednesday, 17 April 2024 08:30 AM
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In a shocking revelation, a couple from Colorado Springs, Colorado, Jon and Carie Hallford, are facing additional charges for allegedly misappropriating over $880,000 in COVID relief funds for personal luxuries.

The couple, who previously owned the Back to Nature Funeral Home, were already under indictment for 190 counts of corpse abuse, five counts of theft, four counts of money laundering, and more than 50 counts of forgery.

The indictment, unsealed on Monday, accuses the Hallfords of using $882,300 in pandemic relief funds for personal expenditures, including the purchase of cars, lavish dinners, cryptocurrency, and their child's tuition. The 15 federal offenses they face could result in penalties of up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

Prosecutors allege that between March 2020 and October 2021, the Hallfords fraudulently obtained three loans. Court documents related to the corpse abuse case reveal more about the couple's alleged misuse of funds. They reportedly purchased a GMC Yukon and an Infiniti, collectively worth over $120,000. The Hallfords also allegedly indulged in trips to California, Florida, and Las Vegas, bought $31,000 in cryptocurrency, and shopped at high-end retailers like Tiffany & Co. and Gucci. The couple even paid for cosmetic laser body sculpting procedures.

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FBI agent Andrew Cohen testified in February that the funds used to buy the Yukon, which were received as an adjustment to a pandemic-era small business loan, were fraudulently obtained. Jon Hallford allegedly lied about being current on child support payments.

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The court documents also support state prosecutors' accusations that the Hallfords deceived families by providing dry concrete instead of cremated ashes. The couple is also accused of burying the wrong body on two separate occasions. The indictment alleges that the Hallfords collected over $130,000 from families for cremation and burial services that were never provided.

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Cohen testified that the collected money was sufficient to cover the cremation costs twice for all the bodies discovered in the business facility in October. The couple was arrested in November 2023 in Oklahoma following an investigation that began in October when 190 bodies were found in a building in a nearby rural community, used as a body storage facility.

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Prosecutors have presented text messages suggesting that the Hallfords attempted to conceal their financial difficulties by leaving the bodies in the building in Penrose. The building, equipped with makeshift refrigeration units, was not operational when the bodies were discovered, according to Cohen's testimony.

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Prosecutors allege that Jon Hallford had expressed concerns about being caught as early as 2020. He reportedly suggested disposing of the bodies by burying them in a large hole, treating them with lye, or setting them on fire. "My one and only focus is keeping us out of jail," he allegedly wrote in a text message.

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