GREELEY, Colo. (CBS4) – A former Greeley funeral home director who is wanted for allegedly stealing money from people who were planning services told CBS4 through Facebook that he always had good intentions.
Paul Acuna was the director of Paul’s Funeral Service on 9th Street. The business closed in April, and Acuna’s customers say they were never notified or refunded their money.
Acuna, 44, is believed to be in the San Diego area. On Thursday authorities announced that a warrant has been issued for his arrest after an investigation that lasted for several months. The charges against Acuna include theft from an at risk adult, theft and forgery.
Police said during the course of their investigation, they found several people had been making payments to Acuna for pre-paid funerals. They were promised that the money paid would be transferred to another business should Acuna’s business ever close.
Alfred Silva is one of the victims police say Acuna left behind. Silva told CBS4 Acuna attended his church.
“He seemed like a nice guy, friendly,” Silva said. “We gave him almost $5,000.”
CBS4 contacted Acuna through Facebook on Thursday and he replied with an explanation as to where the money went once his business shut down. It reads in part: “The truth is that it was used to keep the doors open until it closed. I never intended to steal any money or cheat. … I hope to pay it back someday.”
Acuna said bad accounting led to his downfall.
Adriana Fausto works for the insurance company that now occupies the former location of the funeral home and says one woman stopped by looking for more than just her money.
“She had to drive over here because she was looking for Paul because he had her mother’s remains,” Fausto said.
Fausto said several people have come to her store looking for Acuna.
“I would like for him to come forward and make it right for everybody,” Silva said.
The Weld County district attorney says Acuna also faces theft charges for state money he received through a program that helps low income families pay for funeral costs.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Greeley Police Department at (970) 350-9600.