• Investigators: Jacksonville-area man used role as funeral home director to scam families

    By: Russell Colburn , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    BALDWIN, Fla. - According to investigators, a local man used his job as a funeral home director to defraud several local families out of thousands of dollars.

    Roy Vance Prestwood Jr., 42, is charged with organized fraud and insurance fraud.


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    Investigators said Prestwood used his job as a funeral director to cash in on nine policies worth more than $100,000.

    “He’s wrong to do something like that,” said Mia Anderson of Baldwin.  “He should give people the money back, because that’s not right.”

    According to his arrest warrant, Prestwood would take the money from what’s called a pre-need funeral arrangement contract.  

    People make them to freeze the price of a funeral service because it fluctuates.

    Investigators said Prestwood had a scheme to collect on people who were still alive from 2006 to 2013. 

    Investigators said bank statements revealed the funds went to vacations, recreational activities, vehicles and dining.

    Action News Jax went to the Prestwood Funeral Home in Baldwin Friday, which is now under new ownership.  

    Investigators said current staff is cooperating and not under investigation.

    Staff didn’t want to appear on-camera, but directed us to this statement, reading in part:

    “We are deeply saddened by Mr. Prestwood's actions and will make every effort to assist all victims in this case.”

    Action News Jax got the suspect on the phone.  

    He directed us to his attorney, Tim Pribisco, who issued this statement:

    “I’m looking forward to defending my client against these accusations and we are awaiting the opportunity to see the state’s evidence and contest it in court.”


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