Crime

Former Ray County coroner accused of stealing from elderly

The Missouri attorney general has accused Toby L. Polley, 47, of Lawson, Mo., of stealing and financial exploitation of the elderly. The charges say Polley stole from consumers by taking payment for preneed funeral and burial services and then failing to keep the money in accounts to later provide those services.
The Missouri attorney general has accused Toby L. Polley, 47, of Lawson, Mo., of stealing and financial exploitation of the elderly. The charges say Polley stole from consumers by taking payment for preneed funeral and burial services and then failing to keep the money in accounts to later provide those services. File photo

The former Ray County coroner who was caught smoking methamphetamine in a hearse outside a casino last year has been accused of stealing and financially exploiting elderly people who thought they were prepaying their funeral expenses.

The Missouri attorney general on Tuesday announced that charges have been filed in Ray County against Toby L. Polley, 47, of Lawson, Mo.

Polley has been charged with five counts of financial exploitation of the elderly and one count each of stealing, deceptive business practices and violation of the Missouri Preneed Funeral Contract Act.

Polley is the former Ray County coroner who last year pleaded guilty in Platte County to felony possession of a controlled substance and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia after he was caught smoking methamphetamine in a hearse outside an area casino.

Polley received a suspended sentence and was placed on probation for five years for the felony drug charge. He also was ordered to complete 80 hours of community service.

The new charges say Polley, who owned and operated Polley Funeral Home LLC, stole from consumers by taking payment for preneed funeral and burial services and then failing to keep the money in accounts to later provide those services.

Some people have been forced to pay for funeral services that were already paid for.

“Polley defrauded consumers who were trying to make sure their families would not bear their funereal costs at the time of their death,” Attorney General Chris Koster, who is assisting the Ray County prosecutor in the case, said in a release.

The funeral home had locations in Excelsior Springs, Lawson and Richmond, all in Missouri.

Anyone who might have been a victim is asked to call the attorney general office’s Consumer Protection Division Complaint Hotline at 800-392-8222 or by filing a complaint online at ago.mo.gov.

Robert A. Cronkleton: 816-234-4261, @cronkb

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