Kansas cemetery owner sentenced to prison for theft

HUTCHINSON, Kan. | A judge has sentenced a cemetery owner to nearly five years in prison for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from two cemetery trust funds.

Sharon McDonough, 70, owned Fairlawn Burial Park and Heritage Funeral Home in Hutchinson. She pleaded no contest in May to 16 criminal counts, under an agreement that called for three years of intensive probation.

That agreement was not binding on Reno County District Judge Richard Rome, who sentenced McDonough on Thursday to 58 months in prison. The Hutchinson News reports she could have received 68 months.

She has also agreed to pay $653,000 in restitution and has given up nearly all of her property and assets.

Prosecutors said McDonough's thefts victimized more than 10,000 people who had paid for cemetery plots and services.