US cemetery director looted tombstone cash

An American Jewish cemetery director has pleaded guilty to stealing $1 million from her institution.

Ilana Friedman, 51, had been pocketing money from bereaved families, causing losses to Staten Island’s Jewish cemetery of over $850,000 between 2005 and 2011.

The Brooklyn resident, who co-directed the United Hebrew Cemetery for 15 years with husband Arthur Friedman, pleaded guilty to grand larceny in Staten Island Criminal Court today.

Under a settlement, Mr and Mrs Friedman must pay $1 million in stolen funds to the cemetery and may never work in the funeral or cemetery industry.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman found that Mrs Friedman had also been using fees for headstones and plots on personal expenses such as dinners, jewellery and theatre tickets.

Last updated: 11:02am, April 17 2013