According to the Essex County District Attorney, Haverhill City Council Vice President Robert Scatamacchia buried himself in a deep legal hole after allegedly stashing away money specifically pre-paid for funeral services.
Scatamacchia of 111 Revere Street was arraigned on Tuesday on two counts of larceny over $250 in Salem Superior Court. Essex First Assistant Distrcit Attorney John Dawley said that Scatamacchia allegedly accepted pre-payments for 13 customer's funeral services, totaling over $72,000, which he stashed in a personal bank account.
In addition, Scatamacchia, 65, is said to have pocketed $200,000 that should have gone into his business, Paul C. Rogers Funeral Home.
He was held on $5,000 cash bail.
The Essex County Grand Jury in Salem Superior Court handed down a secret indictment on July 1 after an 8-month long investigation from the Essex DA's O ffice. Regulations state that funeral pre-payments be placed in a separate account and can only be used for burial purposes.
Once Scatamacchia's funeral home went out of business, customers tried to get their moneytransfered to other funeral homes, as regulations permit, in order to bury their dearly departed. Some customers went to the Board of Regulation in Emblaming and Funeral Directing, while others went straight to the State Police.
The Essex District Attorney's Office was notified shortly after by those agencies and kicked off their investigation with the assistance of the Haverhill Police and the Massachusetts Division of Licensure Office of Investigations.