Funeral home owner pleads guilty to federal charges

05/15/2014 11:59 AM

05/15/2014 11:59 AM

The owner of a Wichita funeral home has pleaded guilty to unspecified crimes in federal court.

Douglas Watson, who owns Watson Funeral Home at 3201 S. Webb Road, pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court. Judge Monti Belot sealed a plea agreement in the case and set sentencing for July 28.

Watson was indicted on four counts of fraud on May 22, 2013.

Watson still has his mortuary license and the mortuary is still open for business, said Mack Smith, executive secretary of the Kansas State Board of Mortuary Arts.

“We’ve had, obviously, numerous phone calls,” Smith said. “We’re aware of the situation.

“I’m not aware of any current existing problems” with the license, he said.

Once Watson’s guilty plea is unsealed at his sentencing in July, Smith said, the board will review information to see if there are grounds for revoking Watson’s license.

“Then and only then can we start taking a look at things,” he said. “If there was something we could do, we’d be doing it.”

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