NEW PHILADELPHIA — The former funeral director and embalmer for a Newcomerstown funeral home pleaded guilty on Friday to nine criminal counts in connection with an embezzlement from the business.
Martin M. Feldner is to be sentenced after the resolution of a civil case in connection with the same course of conduct. He was accused of stealing more than $750,000 from the Addy Funeral Home.
Feldner, 55, entered his guilty pleas before Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Judge Edward O'Farrell with representation from attorney Kevin Cox.
The charges are one count of aggravated theft, four counts of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and four counts of forgery. The maximum potential sentence is 38 years.
Feldner stole the money from Addy Funeral Home from Feb. 17, 2010, through April 9, 2018.
In court Friday, County Prosecutor Ryan Styer agreed that he would not seek new criminal charges if evidence of any crime occurring in 2009 came to light in the civil proceeding, as bank records are available only from 2010 forward.
Feldner formerly lived in West Lafayette and now resides in North Myrtle Beach, S.C.
In the civil suit, Feldner has been ordered to pay more than $2.3 million to Addy’s. The case remains active relative to the claims of Addy Funeral Home, against his wife Julie A. Feldner.
O’Farrell entered the monetary judgment against Feldner following a summary judgment in favor of the funeral home.
The judge ordered Feldner to pay $764,523 in monetary compensation, $1,529,046 in punitive damages, $48,312 for attorneys’ fees, and $635 in court costs. Feldner will also be required to pay interest.
Feldner worked for Addy’s from May 2002 to April 24, 2018, according to court records.
After he was no longer employed, the civil complaint said, Addy’s found that Feldner had impermissibly withdrawn money from the company’s bank accounts, misdirected money payable to the funeral home, and embezzled company funds for his personal use and other fraudulent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 was accused of depositing Addy’s money into the joint bank account owned by he and his wife.