Judge orders $386,000 restitution and house arrest for a former Simcoe funeral establishment owner

A judge has sentenced a former Simcoe funeral director and funeral establishment owner to 12 months house arrest and ordered him to pay $386,064.97 restitution to the Bereavement Authority of Ontario (BAO) concerning fraud over $5,000 in relation to prepaid services.

Today, Paul Taylor, of Norfolk County, received an 18-month conditional sentence after he pled guilty to a charge of fraud over $5,000 under the Criminal Code of Canada, with the first 12 months being under house arrest wearing a global positioning system (GPS) device. This will be followed by three years of probation.

The ruling, made in the Ontario Court of Justice in Norfolk County on May 9, also ordered Taylor to pay restitution of $386,064.97 to replenish the BAO Compensation Fund.

The BAO Compensation Fund was established to compensate consumers who have suffered a financial loss as a result of a licensed funeral professional or transfer service licensee mishandling prepaid funds. The compensation fund has reimbursed about 100 people affected in this matter, as the fund was designed to do.

The ruling orders Taylor to pay a minimum $1,000 a month back to the BAO Compensation Fund for the duration of the restitution order. Failure to meet the minimum payments could result in jail time, the judge told Taylor in court. The remainder of the ordered restitution is due on the first day of the 54th month of the restitution order period.

Four years ago

In January of 2020, BAO inspectors started inquiries into financial irregularities related to prepaid funerals and cremations at the two establishments owned by Paul Taylor, The Baldock Funeral Home Inc. and South Coast Funeral & Cremation Alternatives Inc., in Simcoe, Ontario. The Registrar, of the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act, 2002, suspended the licence of Taylor and the two establishments in 2020.

As of Feb. 5, 2021, Taylor had abandoned the appeal of the Proposal to Revoke licences. As a result, the BAO proceeded with the revocation of Funeral Director – Class 1 licence of Paul Taylor, and the Funeral Establishment Operator – Class 1 licences of The Baldock Funeral Home Inc., and South Coast Funeral & Cremation Alternatives Inc. 

About the BAO

The Bereavement Authority of Ontario (BAO) is a government delegated authority and not-for-profit corporation administering provisions of the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act, 2002 (FBCSA). Accountable to the Minister of Public and Business Service Delivery and the government, the BAO is responsible for the protection of the public interest. The BAO regulates, ensures compliance with the law, provides resources and services to licensed:

  • Funeral establishment operators, directors and preplanners;
  • Cemetery, crematorium and alternative disposition operators;
  • Transfer service operators; and
  • Bereavement sector sales representatives across Ontario.

The BAO is wholly funded by licensee fees (not tax dollars).

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