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Police Investigating Possible Cemetery Scam

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Police are investigating a possible cemetery scam in Kittanning.

It all started back in 2011. The person behind it allegedly told victims, "It was the deal the cemetery was offering at the time."

The Kittanning Cemetery is a nonprofit community cemetery and dates back to the 1800s.

According to cemetery officials, one person paid cash for a pre-arranged cemetery plot. Another person paid for the opening and closing of a grave.

State Police Trooper Dan Kesten says they never actually got what they paid for.

"They were told if they paid cash the price would be less expensive," said Trooper Kesten.

Both victims and the suspect are from Kittanning.

The president of the cemetery board says he worked at the cemetery for at least 15 years and was the superintendent. He handled all sales and monies.

"Some time went by; the only thing they had gotten was a handwritten receipt," he said. "As time went by, they began to wonder why they didn't have any deeds for the plots or official paperwork."

So the victims contacted Kittanning Cemetery and were told there was no record of any transaction. That was three weeks ago.

The board contacted the Armstrong County District Attorney's Office who contacted state police.

The then-superintendent voluntarily resigned and the cemetery board has made some changes in how business is now handled.

State Police say this investigation is ongoing and if there are others who have been cheated out of their money to give then a call at 724-543-2011.

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