This week, Prentiss County Chancery Judge John Hatcher appointed the secretary of state’s office as temporary receiver/overseer of four cemeteries. The cemeteries are Sunset Gardens Memorial in Laurel, Prentiss Memorial Gardens in Baldwyn, Liberty Memorial Park in Booneville and Pinecrest Memorial Park in Pittsboro.
Secretary of state officials said $378,960 worth of contracts were sold at those four cemeteries, of which at least 50 percent of the funds remained unaccounted for at the beginning of the year.
But Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said Wednesday the figures on the amount unaccounted for is really unknown.
“Unfortunately, our office has seen this before in Vicksburg,” Hosemann said. “We conducted several audits of cemeteries across the state. In several cases, those cemeteries have had their trust funds misappropriated, and its customers left holding the bag.”