BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – For the second time in 4 years, Paris Childs faces prison time for embezzling client funds, and this time prosecutors believe Childs could be going away for a very long time.
“He is a thief. He wants to steal your money so he can have it”, is how Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita describes the actions of the former funeral home director.
Childs, 54, of Akron pled guilty to four counts of grand larceny, for pocketing clients’ money–as many as 15 customers who pre-paid for burial arrangements–and Childs was supposed to deposit their money in private bank accounts.
Sedita put it this way, “instead of the money going to the bank, the money was going in Mr. Child’s pocket”.
Four years ago, Paris Childs was convicted of stealing $175,000 from an elderly widow and served 6 months in jail. Childs also forfeited his state funeral director’s license, and turned over the funeral home to another operator.
Sedita calls Childs an embezzler whose victims were mostly elderly–giving Childs their money, but most of all their trust, “an embezzler who works as an undertaker is just like a pedophile who works as a youth counselor. It is the same type of dynamic.”
Sedita has little sympathy for this kind of embezzler, “they are taking their position of trust, and they are abusing it against the most vulnerable victims, and the most trusting victims possible, and that, to be honest with you, is revolting.”
Sedita points out Childs’ guilty plea was not part of a plea bargain. Childs accepted the most severe charges against him, and Sedita expects him to get the stiffest sentence, which includes violating the probation he was serving from his first conviction.
State Supreme Court Justice Russell Buscaglia has ordered Childs held without bail, until sentencing, and Sedita says Childs faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced in July.