COLUMBUS – Ohio Lieutenant Governor and Department of Insurance Director Mary Taylor announced that Michelle Gavin, co-owner of the closed Magetti Gavin Funeral Home in Dayton, has been sentenced in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court to four years in prison and will serve five years on post-release supervision. Gavin recently pleaded guilty to 36 counts of theft from the elderly, grand theft, tampering with records and pre-need life insurance contract violations in a case totaling $300,000.
“To prey on Ohioans at a time when they are most in need is unconscionable and cannot be tolerated,” Taylor said. “I commend the tireless work of the investigative team, especially the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office, in holding those who break the law accountable for their actions. The Department of Insurance will continue to protect Ohioans by taking action against those that choose to break insurance laws in Ohio.”
The investigation found Gavin misappropriated funds from her clients and failed to secure either trusts or life insurance policies with the money, instead keeping it for her personal use. In addition, she falsely claimed to insurance companies that multiple individuals died in order to cash in pre-need life insurance policies belonging to living clients. Gavin was formerly licensed in Ohio to sell pre-need products, which typically pay for funeral and burial expenses.
The Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office led the investigation with assistance from the Ohio Department of Insurance, and the Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors, which looked at other improprieties regarding the funeral home managed by Gavin.
If you believe someone may be committing insurance fraud or professional misconduct the Department urges people to call its fraud and enforcement hotline at 1-800-686-1527. Insurance fraud information is available at www.insurance.ohio.gov.