Hawaii mortuary owner sentenced to jail for stealing from customers

Updated: Dec. 23, 2015 at 9:54 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The owner of Affordable Casket and Moanalua Mortuary was sentenced Tuesday and immediately began serving 30 days in prison for stealing from customers.

Claus Hansen pleaded guilty in October to seven counts of felony theft. He was arrested in April after one of his employees alerted the Medicaid program that he was apparently taking money from the state funeral payments program. That program offsets mortuary costs incurred by families of decedents who received financial assistance from the state in the form of Medicaid, food stamps and other assistance programs.

According to Hansen's bank statements, he failed to pay as many as 161 beneficiaries, totaling more than $90,000. He began to repay the families after learning he was the subject of a criminal investigation, State Attorney General Douglas Chin said.

In addition to his 30-day jail sentencing, Hansen was ordered to pay $50,000 to a victims' fund, perform 300 hours of community service and write apology letters to each of the victims. Hansen has already paid more than $85,000 in restitution.

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