Pennsylvania Man Charged with Defrauding Customers in Headstone Scam

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PHILADELPHIA, PA — Gregory J. Stefan, Jr., 54, of Upper Merion, Pennsylvania, was arrested on Tuesday, July 9, 2024, and charged with seven counts of wire fraud. The indictment alleges that Stefan defrauded hundreds of grieving customers through fraudulent business practices in the operation of his headstone sales companies.

Between January 2018 and September 2023, Stefan operated two businesses, 1843 LLC and Colonial Memorials. According to the indictment, Stefan entered into contracts with customers to provide custom headstones and engraving services for their deceased loved ones. He reportedly demanded large up-front payments, often the entire purchase price, but repeatedly failed to deliver the products by the promised timeline, if at all.

The indictment further claims that when customers inquired about the status of their orders, Stefan either ignored them or assured them that their orders would be delivered soon without taking any action. Nearly 500 customers allegedly paid Stefan over $1.5 million without receiving their headstones or refunds.

Stefan made his initial court appearance on these charges before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jose R. Arteaga on Tuesday afternoon.

If convicted, Stefan faces a maximum possible sentence of 140 years in prison.

The FBI conducted the investigation, and Assistant United States Attorney Jessica Rice is prosecuting the case.

An indictment, information, or criminal complaint serves as an accusation. The defendant is deemed innocent unless proven guilty.

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