A 44-year-old Peterborough man is facing fraud, criminal breach of trust and forgery charges following a joint investigation with the Bereavement Authority of Ontario (BAO).

In June of 2017 the Peterborough Police Service’s Fraud Unit began an investigation into the misuse of pre-paid funeral contracts.

Through a joint investigation with the BAO it was revealed that between 2006 and 2015 the accused defrauded a Millbrook funeral home of approximately $120,000 by not depositing pre-paid funeral contracts with customers into a trust account. During this time the accused owned and operated the funeral home.

The investigation also revealed that in January and February of 2017 the accused wrote pre-paid funeral contracts forging customers’ signatures.

On September 6, 2017 police attended a Peterborough residence where, as a result of the investigation, the accused was arrested and charged.

Patrick W. Benson, 44, of Otonabee Drive, Peterborough, is charged with the following:

  • Fraud over $5,000
  • Criminal breach of trust
  • Use, deals, acts on forged document X7

The accused was held in custody, appeared in court on September 6, 2017, was released from custody and is scheduled to appear again in court on October 4, 2017.

Those victims affected during this investigation have been contacted.