A Hughes County funeral home director has been sentenced for embezzling more than $125,000 from 28 families. An investigation by the Oklahoma Insurance Department’s Anti-Fraud Unit led to the charges against Donald Williamson, 57, of Wetumka.
“I’m proud of our Anti-Fraud Unit for uncovering this crime,” said Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak. “If they hadn’t stepped in when they did, there is a very good chance a grieving family would have been faced with the added pain of an unexpected expense. Thankfully, we were able to keep that from happening.”
Williamson owns Williamson-Spradlin Funeral Home in Wetumka. He admitted accepting money for prepaid funerals but not establishing trust funds or purchasing the insurance policies required for payouts. Instead, Williams deposited the money into the funeral home’s banking account to use for operating expenses. Investigators found 28 victims from Nov. 2011-Dec. 2014. By the end of the investigation, nearly $75,000 meant to pay for funerals was missing. Approximately $50,000 was still in the business banking account.
Williamson, who took out a personal loan to repay his victims, pleaded no contest to embezzlement and guilty to violating the Prepaid Funeral Benefits Law. The judge gave him a seven-year deferred sentence.
“We spent months working on this case,” said Rick Wagnon, Anti-Fraud Unit Chief. “Commissioner Doak hosted two town hall meetings in Wetumka to speak with possible victims. Both were standing room only. We’re just glad the victims got their money back.”