The owner of a now-defunct funeral home was indicted by a Burlington County grand jury this week in a theft of funds received for pre-paid funerals, the county prosecutor said yesterday.

Robert E. Warwick, 43, of Mount Laurel, was charged Tuesday with theft. He owned the Snover Funeral Home in Beverly until it closed in 2007.

The business accepted advance payment from customers making funeral arrangements prior to their deaths, according to authorities. The money was to be transferred into an interest-bearing "irrevocable burial account," but Warwick deposited it into a general account and used the funds for personal expenses, officials said.

Warwick is accused of misdirecting $52,273 from eight customers between July 2002 and September 2007. The individual payments ranged from $2,800 to $9,650, according to authorities. He is free on recognizance.    

- Edward Colimore