Judge sentences ex-funeral director for fraud


A former funeral director in the region has been sentenced to jail for fraud.

Thomas Clock III received eight months in jail, two months of probation and fines during the hearing last month in Muskegon County Circuit Court.

Clock, 61, owned and operated the former Clock Funeral Home of White Lake in Whitehall, north of Muskegon.

Clock's funeral home was not affiliated with several others bearing the Clock name.

He pleaded no contest in June in separate cases of common-law fraud. One case included an additional count of providing mortuary services without a license. A no contest plea is not an admission of guilt, but is treated as such for the purposes of sentencing.

In January, police found a woman's body in Clock's parked funeral van. An empty urn was buried, and relatives were misled to believe that the urn contained her cremated remains.

"That family deserved the dignity of celebrating her life," Muskegon County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Timothy Maat said. "They had the right to remember her for the person she was. The defendant betrayed them of that trust and ripped them away from that dignity."

Clock was also charged with fraud after a container intended for the cremated remains of a baby was found empty.

"These people were at their lowest point, the death of their child," Matt said. "He took what was already an unbearable moment of grief and made it worse."

Clock was credited with having already served 141 days in jail. He told the judge at the hearing that he thinks he's been punished enough.

"I spent my time in jail, and I'm ready to move on," he said.

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