Man pleads guilty to violating cemetery act

Gary R. Towler (Source: Massac County Sheriff's Department)
Gary R. Towler (Source: Massac County Sheriff's Department)

METROPOLIS, IL (KFVS) - A man pleaded guilty to seven felony counts relating to his operation of the Metropolis Memorial Gardens.

Gary R. Towler pleaded guilty to seven felony counts for violation of the Pre-Need Cemetery Sales Act and the Cemetery Care Act, according to the Massac County State's Attorney.

The Illinois Comptroller's Office performed an audit and Illinois State Police investigated.

The investigation revealed that from Jan. 1, 2004 until Feb. 28, 2008, about $150,000 had not been deposited into the cemetery's trust funds as required.  The investigation also revealed that the cemetery did not maintain adequate records, that the cemetery did not file an annual report for 2008, and that the cemetery's pre-need sales contract forms did not comply with the statute.

Each of the seven counts has a possible penalty of one to three years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.  Towler would be eligible for probation.

Towler sentencing is set for June 27, 2012. at 1 p.m.

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