Sanford Man Arrested for Stealing from Funeral Home

Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) special agents with the Orlando Regional Operations Center today arrested Bernard Mitchell, 60, of Sanford, Fla. on charges of Racketeering, Grand Theft and Money Laundering.

FDLE began investigating Mitchell in February at the request of Sanford Police Chief Brian Tooley after the Sanford Police Department received complaints from members of the community who alleged Mitchell’s criminal activities. The investigation revealed that while Mitchell was working for a local funeral home selling cemetery plots and funeral contracts he failed to deposit funds into a state escrow account, as required by law. Instead, he allegedly laundered these funds through another account which he controlled as the treasurer of the Florida Mortician’s Association. Agents say he then made withdrawals and bank transfers from that account directly to himself. During a three-year-period, Mitchell stole more than $100,000 from local investors.

Mitchell has been charged with:

* one count of racketeering, a first-degree felony
* two counts of money laundering, a third-degree felony
* two counts of money laundering, a second-degree felony
* 14 counts of failure to deposit required funds by pre-need licensee, a third-degree felony
* 12 counts of grand theft, a third-degree felony
* one count of petit theft, a first-degree misdemeanor

Mitchell was booked into the Seminole County Jail.

For Further Information Contact:
Heather Smith, Kristen Chernosky or Mike Morrison
FDLE Office of Public Information
(850) 410-7001