The money was supposed to have been put an "irrevocable burial account."
But, a Burlington County grand juy found, more than $52,000 in pre-paid funeral funds went into a New Jersey funeral director's pocket.
In an indictment handed up this week, Robert E. Warwick, 45, of Mount Laurel, was charged with theft by failure to make required disposition of property received, a third-degree felony.
Warwick could not be reached for comment today.
The indictment alleges the funeral director accepted advance payments from customers who wanted to make sure their funeral services were covered prior to their deaths.
But instead of being deposited in a special account, the money was put into a general account and used for personal expenses, the Burlington County Prosector's Office said.
Warwick is accused of misdirecting a total of $52,273 from eight customers between July 2002 and Septembert. 2007. The individual payments ranged in amounts from $2,800 to $9,650.
Warwick was released on his own recognizance.