The Kansas Department of Revenue raided a Wichita funeral home for back taxes on Tuesday, seizing the company’s assets and sending five bodies to another mortuary, officials said.
The state served tax warrants on Bethea’s Funerals and Cremations, 615 W. Maple, and at the Andover home of mortuary owner Robert J. Bethea.
The company, also known as RAAM Asset Group LLC, owed the state $61,598.37 for unpaid sales and withholding taxes, according to a KDOR statement.
The five bodies at the mortuary were transferred to Yoder Embalming Service. Customers were being asked to call that company to make alternate funeral arrangements at a mortuary of their choice.
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Five revenue officials conducted the seizures in conjunction with deputies from both the Sedgwick and Butler County sheriff’s offices, KDOR spokeswoman Rachel Whitten said.
Property seized included bank accounts, on-site cash, business inventory and personal property belonging to Bethea, Whitten said. The seized assets will be sold at public auction to retire the tax debt.
The business was sealed with a public notice of closure posted outside. The business phone number was answered by a machine, but calls were almost immediately disconnected.
Whitten said warrant seizure of property was the “last resort” after multiple attempts to collect on the debt had failed. This was an especially difficult case because of the disruption to people’s funeral plans, she said.
“The policy in these types of cases is to work with them to the fullest extent the law allows,” Whitten said.