GREELEY, Colo. (CBS4)– A funeral director accused of stealing money from families said he just wants a chance to make things right.
Paul Acuna was arrested in Dec. 2012 on several felony charges including forgery and theft. He has been in the Weld County Jail since then on a $750,000 bond.READ MORE: Wildfire Sparks In Ptarmigan Wilderness Above Town Of Silverthorne
“Things just fell apart with my business,” said Acuna.
His funeral business on 9th Street in Greeley closed in April 2012. Customers say they were never notified or given refunds for the prepaid services.
Alfred Silva is one of the many victims police say Acuna left behind.
“We gave him almost $5,000,” said Silva.
Silva said he and his wife wanted to prepay for their funeral services to avoid burdening their children later.
Silva was one of many Greeley residents who gave Acuna money in advance to prepay for funeral services.
Last year those families realized Acuna was no longer in business and nowhere to be found.READ MORE: Hector Frias-Chavarria Sentenced For Drunken & Deadly Road Rage Crash
“It’s my mistake for not notifying these families and letting them know, ‘Listen my business has failed. I’m no longer able to continue and I don’t have your money,'” said Acuna.
Acuna said he hit an emotional wall when his mother died and his marriage failed.
“It was devastating, my kids were devastated because of the divorce,” said Acuna.
He said business slowed and the bills began to add up.
“The money was used to try to keep the doors open so as they were making payments, I was paying the light bill, the rent,” said Acuna.
Acuna said he left the state to be with family and decided to turn himself in. Now he wants to make up for his mistakes, “Please forgive me, let’s make things right and I want to pay you back someday.”
Silva said he wants more than an apology and expects his money to be returned, “I want restitution, I want it put on paper, court ordered, whatever it has to be.”MORE NEWS: High COVID Plateau In Colorado Somewhat Dependent On Vaccines For Children
Acuna is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 14.