Former Greeley funeral director sought in theft cases involving funeral plans

Paul Acuna believed to be in California

GREELEY, Colo. - An arrest warrant is out for a former Greeley funeral director now believed to be living in the San Diego area, charging him with theft and forgery.

The Greeley Police Department has been investigating Paul Acuna, 44, for the past few months, according to Sgt. Susan West, police spokeswoman.

The investigation initially stemmed from possible fraudulent billings for funeral assistance obtained from the Department of Social Services.  As the investigation continued, several people reported they had been making payments for pre-paid funerals to Acuna, West said. The individuals said they were promised the contracts and/or money paid would be transferred to other businesses, should Acuna's business ever close.  Paul’s Funeral Service closed in April and none of the customers were notified and none of their money was transferred or refunded, according to police.

One of those customers was Alfred Silva.  He told 7NEWS when he chose Paul’s Funeral Services, he thought he was getting a good deal from a good guy.

“He seemed real honest,” said Silva.

Silva said for just $6,700, Director Paul Acuna assured him his funeral would be taken care of, including the service and the casket.

“We were making monthly payments and we paid him almost $5,000,” Silva said.

When Silva stopped getting receipts from the business he said he called, but the line was disconnected.

“I finally went over there to see what was going on, that’s when we found out the building was locked,” Silva said.

After receiving the case from the sheriff's office, the Weld County District Attorney's Office filed charges of theft from an at-risk adult, theft and 10 counts of forgery against Acuna.

“When we found out that, it makes us sad.  We wanted our funeral arrangements to be paid off so our kids wouldn’t have that burden.  I would like to get my money back, I don’t know whether I will or not,” Silva said.

Acuna is now believed to be living in the San Diego, Calif. area. 

Anyone with information on his current location or who believes they have been a victim of similar circumstances is asked to contact the Greeley Police Department at 970-350-9600.