Perry County, MO coroner found guilty of financial exploitation

Perry Co. commissioner to wait on decision on coroner
Published: Oct. 16, 2015 at 2:54 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 16, 2015 at 8:37 PM CDT
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PERRY COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - A jury has convicted a southeast Missouri coroner of stealing from an elderly woman.

Herbert Miller is the Perry County coroner. He was found guilty of theft and financial exploitation.

According to the probable cause statement, Miller is accused of writing checks totaling $80,600 as a power of attorney to himself on behalf of a 94-year-old woman with dementia and other cognitive disabilities.

The woman appointed Miller as her power of attorney in 2004.

The woman was admitted to a nursing home in Perryville in 2008. Her primary care physician says she has not been competent for many years.

After the woman was admitted, Miller allegedly began writing checks on the woman's account payable to "cash" and to the funeral home he and his wife own, according to the probable cause statement.

Miller is accused of writing the checks from August 2011 to June 2013.

The elderly woman was denied her Medicaid benefits and her bill at the nursing home is not being paid. 

According to court documents, Miller admitted to writing the check and claimed they were gifts from the woman.

Perry County commissioners are seeking legal counsel and will release more details later.

His sentencing is set for Dec. 11.

The Perry County Commission issued the following statement on Friday, Oct. 16:

"The Perry County Commission believes, until sentencing is completed, any comment concerning the guilty verdicts brought against County Coroner Herbert Miller on October 15 for theft and exploitation of the elderly would be premature.

"Until such time he is sentenced and the Attorney General's offices determines a course of action Mr. Miller - as an elected county official, remains by State Law, Perry County's coroner."

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