UPDATE (12/6/18): The former director of Farrar Funeral Home in Farmerville has entered a guilty plea in Third Judicial District Court to theft of more than $25,000.
Jerry Glen Morris, 61, of West Monroe, entered a plea bargain Wednesday that resulted in Judge James Bodie sentencing him to suspended seven years with three years of probation; making restitution of $568,610 and the release of $123,000 from his bank account to Owens Memorial Chapel Funeral Home with a judgement balance of $445,610.
Morris was arrested in August after an investigation by the Union Parish Sheriff’s Office and booked into the parish detention center for theft over $25,000, computer tampering and bank fraud. His total bond was set at $325,000.
Morris was arrested at the Monroe Regional Airport by FBI agents and UPSO investigators as he was reportedly returning home from a mission trip.
According to UPSO records, Morris had been a 20 percent owner of the funeral home but had sold that share to the majority owner in June.
Sheriff Dusty Gates said UPSO detectives began their investigation Aug. 7 after meeting with the majority owner who reported that his CPA firm had found accounting records tampered with and the possibility that profits were being skimmed.
UPDATE (8/30/18): Farrar Funeral Home has been serving the Farmerville community for over 50 years.
“We’re a family up there”, says funeral home director Richard Kilpatrick.
Kilpatrick says he and the entire funeral home staff couldn’t believe one of their own could be responsible for hurting them like this.
“We were shocked to say the least. When you misuse trust that’s placed in someone under any circumstances that’s a hard pill to handle”, says Kilpatrick.
Police say former Farrar Funeral Home co-owner Jerry Morris was arrested for embezzling more than 300 thousand dollars from the funeral home. He and Blain Owens bought the funeral home back in 2001 from the Farrar family.
“Everybody knew him and trusted him. I was just totally shocked”, says Farmerville resident Kennon Cobb.
Morris was arrested at Monroe Regional Airport but is being held at the Union Parish detention center on charges of felony theft, bank fraud, and computer tampering.
Kilpatrick says everyone is still trying to make sense of the facts. He says he wants to be as transparent as possible and no clients accounts have been directly affected by Morris’ alleged actions.
“It’s still too early to understand the full scope of what’s going on but we’re working”, says Kilpatrick.
But residents still believe Farrar Funeral Home will be standing another 50 years.
“I’m sure they’ll rectify everything that’s happened and it’ll be business as usual”, says Cobb.
“We have other funeral directors and other staff members with the utmost integrity and they want to serve people and we want to continue to serve people”, says Kilpatrick.
(8/30/18) A former partial owner of Farrar Funeral Home in Farmerville has been arrested after being accused of embezzling more than $300,000 from the business.
Jerry Morris, who resides in West Monroe, was arrested Thursday morning at the Monroe Regional Airport after returning from a trip, Union Parish Sheriff Dusty Gates said. He has been booked into the parish detention center on charges of felony theft greater than $25,000, bank fraud and computer tampering. A total bond of $325,000 has been set.
Gates said the investigation began Aug. 7 after a meeting with the majority owner of the funeral home who had been conducting an audit and found discrepancies.
The sheriff said the FBI has joined the investigation and additional charges are possible.
Morris, 60, had sold his portion of the business in June, Gates said.