UNIONTOWN, Pa. (AP) —
A former western Pennsylvania funeral home director accused of stealing a half-million dollars' worth of funeral policy payments from the elderly has been sentenced to four to eight years in prison.
Fifty-two-year-old Stephen Kezmarsky III apologized before sentencing Tuesday, telling a Fayette County judge he was a generous person who was bad at running his Uniontown business.
Kezmarsky, who pleaded guilty to theft and forgery last fall, told victims in the courtroom “I’m heartbroken to have hurt you.”
State prosecutors said the defendant stole more than $500,000 from 80 victims over a dozen years. Attorney General Josh Shapiro said he specifically targeted senior citizens who prepaid for their funeral services.
Kezmarsky was also sentenced to 20 years on probation following his release and ordered to pay back a half-million dollars.
District Attorney Rich Bower sought a sentence between 15 and 30 years, saying Kezmarsky “wasn’t their friend, he was their thief." Defense attorney Stephen Colafella suggested a sentence of community service so his victims could see him working off his sentence and restitution.