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Funeral director faces 5 to 10 years

The former owner of a Millvale funeral home was sentenced to five to 10 years in prison Monday for bilking 19 customers out of prepaid funeral expenses.

Jack W. Amick, 43, of Ross, was also sentenced to 10 years’ probation by Allegheny County Judge Jeffrey A. Manning for $105,000 in thefts between 1990 and 2002.

“He had it coming,” said Mary Stout, 82, of Millvale, who lost $5,700 she gave Amick for her own funeral.

Amick pleaded guilty in January to 57 theft charges and 19 counts of deceptive business practices.

Amick was to be sentenced April 26, but when he appeared in court with no restitution money, Manning said he would rather see customers repaid than send Amick to jail. He gave Amick 60 more days to come up with the cash.

When Amick again showed up empty-handed yesterday, Manning sent him to jail.

Patrick J. Thomassey, Amick’s lawyer, said intense media coverage of the former funeral director’s troubles has made it impossible for him to find a job.

“He does not have the ability to repay the money,” Thomassey said.

Amick admitted to pocketing money that customers set aside for their funerals and for those of relatives. He stole amounts varying from $1,400 to more than $10,000.

About a dozen of Amick’s victims gathered for the sentencing, as many had for earlier hearings.

They have described Amick as a once-trusted member of the community who had performed many funerals in Millvale and surrounding communities without incident. Thomassey blamed Amick’s crimes on business woes.

Amick could have faced more than 100 years in prison, but lengthy sentences are rare for nonviolent financial crimes.

Amick lost his state funeral director’s license after charges were filed.


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