Former Perry Co., MO coroner sentenced to prison

JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KFVS) - Former Perry County, Missouri Coroner Herb Miller was in court on Nov. 3 and learned his fate.

His probation was revoked and he was sentenced to seven years in prison.

That's according to Miller's attorney, Jason Tilly.

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The former Perry County Coroner faces a new charge of theft/stealing.

Attorney General Josh Hawley's office sent out a press release on October 12 saying that Herb Miller's probation in a 2015 conviction had been revoked due to the new charges. However, we've since learned that the probation hearing hasn't occurred yet. Miller is not in custody.

A spokesperson for Hawley's office said there will be a hearing to ask a judge to revoke Miller's bond and send him to prison.

His court date was scheduled for November 3.

Miller was convicted in 2015 on a felony charge of financial exploitation of the elderly and one count of stealing over $25,000. He was sentenced to seven years in the Missouri Department of Corrections, but was put on probation for five years and ordered to pay more than $80,000 in restitution.

The release from Hawley's said Miller faces new criminal stealing charges after former client's called the AG's office claiming that Miller has been stealing money from his former client's pre-need funeral contract bank accounts.

The probable cause statement shows that a couple made an agreement with Miller and his wife for per-arranged direct cremations on May 24, 2010. The contract stated that the total for the services would be at least $3,190. The couple told investigators that they made several payments to the Millers through April 29, 2016 that were to be deposited in a savings account. The last payment they made to the Millers on April 29, 2016 was for $1,889.

The Millers filed for bankruptcy and permanently closed Miller Family Funeral home in Feb. 2016.

On July 29, 2016, the couple checked the savings account that their funeral pre-service payments were supposed to be deposited. The bank reported the account only had $300.59.

An investigator with the Missouri Attorney General's Office questioned Herb Miller, he reportedly acknowledged that he and his wife had accepted money from numerous customers of the funeral home. Investigator Quinton Dalton wrote that Miller would not specify where the money was located.

Dalton wrote that the Attorney General's Office has "received at least 40 complaints pertaining to these same types of deceptive business practices regarding Herbert and Kathleen Miller."

Jason Tilley, Miler's Attorney, said that he anticipates submitting additional business affidavits and bank records during a hearing on Friday, Oct. 6, that he says will "shed some light in defense of the alleged allegations from the Attorney General's Office." Tilley said the court took the documents under advisement and he hopes a decision will be made soon.

Online court documents show that plea/trial setting has been scheduled for Nov. 7, 2017.

"My office will prosecute those who exploit Missouri's seniors to the fullest extent of the law," Hawley said. "There is no place for those who victimize our vulnerable citizens."

The Attorney General's Office is also pursuing a civil case against Miller, according to Hawley. Consumers who have purchased a preneed funeral plan payable to Miller are encouraged to call the Attorney General's Office at 1-800-392-8222.

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