The Addy Funeral Home has charged its former director and embalmer with stealing more than $25,000 from the Newcomerstown business.
The civil suit was filed in Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court against the former employee, Martin M. Feldner, and his wife Julie A. Feldner.
The complaint alleges that:
• Feldner was employed as the funeral director and embalmer from May 2002 to April 24, 2018.
• After Feldner was no longer employed, Addy’s found that Feldner had impermissibly withdrawn money from the company’s bank accounts, misdirected money payable to the funeral home, and embezzled company funds for his personal use and other fraudulent purposes.
• Feldner deposited Addy’s money into the joint bank owned by him and his wife.
The suit asks for damages in excess of $25,000, attorney fees and "other relief deemed equitable by the court."
Attorneys representing the Feldners declined to comment on the litigation Monday. Kevin Cox, of the New Philadelphia-based McCleery Law Firm,
represents Martin Feldner. Robert Skelton, of the Coshocton firm of Pomerene, Burns & Skelton, represents Julie Feldner.
Martin Feldner, formerly of West Lafayette, is a former member of the Ridgewood Board of Education. He resigned from the board in May after
having been elected to two four-year terms. Julie Feldner took a leave of absence during the summer from her position as an eighth-grade social
studies teacher, according to Ridgewood Superintendent Mike Masloski.
The Feldners' address, as listed in court records, is a unit in a multifamily building in North Myrtle Beach, S.C., near the Surf Golf & Beach Club.
The couple's West Lafayette home was mentioned as the possible subject of an Aug. 13 auction sale, with the net proceeds to have been deposited in an attorney's trust account, but the sale apparently did not occur.
A July 23 judgment entry from Judge Edward O'Farrell attached property belonging to the Feldners, including motor vehicles and bank accounts. The
order also placed liens on their real estate, and any life insurance policies or annuities for which the defendants are named as the insured or beneficiary.
The entry also referred to any "ownership interest" the defendants might have on the Block R Fund, which was established to fund improvements in
Ridgewood athletic facilities.
Nathanial Carpenter, Block R Fund treasurer, said Martin Feldner is a previous member of the Block R Fund.
"He does not nor did he ever have access to any of the organization's financial accounts," Carpenter told The Times-Reporter via Facebook message.
An Aug. 10 judgment entry from O'Farrell enjoined the Feldners from selling, transferring or otherwise disposing of, compromising or liquidating any of their personal property. It prohibited them from disposing of, concealing or transferring any money other than that needed for food, shelter, clothing, health care, transportation and other usual and customary living expenses.
The case against the Feldners was initially assigned to Judge Elizabeth Lehigh Thomakos, who recused herself.