LOGAN — Criminal charges have been filed against the owners of Nyman Funeral Home. The indictments allege that 45-year-old Lonnie K. Nyman and 72-year-old Kent L. Nyman illegally sold pre-paid funeral trust accounts and then used the money for their own purchases.
Court records show the Utah Attorney General’s Office filed the cases in 1st District Court Thursday afternoon. Both men were charged with pattern of unlawful activity, unlawful dealing with property by fiduciary, and communications fraud, all second-degree felonies. Additionally, Lonnie Nyman was charged with theft by deception and financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult, also second-degree felonies.
According to the indictments, the Nymans sold 111 contracts for pre-need funeral plans totaling approximately $772,320. Instead of placing the funds in trust accounts as required by law, the money was deposited into two bank accounts, used for operating expenses.
Investigators also claim, records showed both suspects used the funds to buy personal items. The purchases were made at fast food restaurants, sporting goods stores, as well as payments toward the personal credit card accounts for both men.
Authorities conducted interviews with both men. Kent Nyman stated his responsibility was primarily the sale and contracting for pre-need funeral plans, and he didn’t handle the financing. Lonnie Nyman would deposit the payments.
Lonnie told officers he would use the funds to purchase insurance polices, but investigators later found only six such policies had been obtained, and three of those policies had been canceled within a few months. He later claimed that he didn’t know that he needed to deposit the collected funds into a trust account.
During another interview, Lonnie stated he was following the law. He said the money received was deposited into an investment style account.
Investigators allege there is no evidence that any such account exists. They also claim all records show the money was deposited into the funeral home’s operating accounts, which had a balance of less than $1,000 with multiple instances of overdraft and negative balances.
No date has been set yet from both men to be arraigned on the charges. They could each face up to 15 years in prison and $10,000 fine.
Lonnie Nyman is currently in prison after being convicted of trying to have sex with a teenage boy and other crimes. He was originally arrested in October 2018 after family members found photos of the boy on his computer tablet. He later accepted a plea deal and was ordered to serve two consecutive terms of 1-to-15-years.
Nyman Funeral Home has been permanently closed and is no longer in business. The property is currently for sale.