Business Owners Charged with 14 Felony Counts
OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter on Thursday announced embezzlement charges alleging that customers were defrauded of money intended for construction of cemetery monuments.
After receiving several complaints, the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit conducted an investigation which showed Ernest Don Parsons of Howe, 37, and Billy Don Parsons of Ringold, 74, individually or through their business, Ernest Monuments, LLC, purportedly failed to provide cemetery headstones or monuments to honor customer’s deceased loved ones, allegedly converting the money to their own use.
Multiple customers independently recounted stories describing their contracts with Ernest Monuments to purchase or manufacture cemetery monuments for installation at local cemeteries in McCurtain and Atoka counties. Although customers made payments to Ernest Monuments for materials, labor, and delivery of the monuments, they were never received. As a result, many of the customers were not able to afford to purchase another headstone or monument from a different company to honor their deceased loved ones.
Ernest and Billy Don Parsons are being charged with thirteen counts of embezzlement and one count of engaging in a pattern of criminal offenses. If convicted of these felonies, each defendant faces prison time and fines of up to $90,000.
The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit protects consumers from fraudulent, unfair or deceptive business practices and can provide conciliation services to help resolve complaints against businesses. To file a consumer complaint, go online to www.ok.gov/oag, call (405) 521-2029, (918) 581-2885 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.