A man accused last August of stealing thousands of dollars from the elderly through an elaborate funeral home insurance scam is now in custody in Catoosa County, police say.
According to the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office, 41-year-old Kevin Lee Miles faces multiple counts of theft by deception and financial exploitation of the elderly after bilking more than two dozen customers out of thousands of dollars via pre-arrangement funeral insurance while working out of Wilson Funeral Homes.
After being arrested recently in Detroit, Michigan, Miles was extradited back to Catoosa County on Friday, Jan. 31, reports show.
Miles’ arrest comes five months after becoming wanted by Catoosa County sheriff’s detectives for his ongoing scams, which at that point included 28 known victims and theft of at least $75,000.
When Catoosa County Sheriff Gary Sisk announced that detectives were looking for Miles back in August, he stated that although Miles had initiated a lot of the deception while working out of Wilson Funeral Homes, he was actually an independent contractor and not a direct representative of the funeral home.
Sisk said Miles had been an independent contractor with Atlantic Coast Insurance Co. working out of Wilson Funeral Home to sell funeral pre-arrangements through Atlantic Coast Life, which is based in Charleston, S.C. Sisk said the pre-arrangement agreements went on from June 2017 to July 2019.
Wilson Funeral Home has chapels in Fort Oglethorpe, Ringgold, Chickamauga, and LaFayette, all in Georgia.
Sisk explained that Miles would receive payment in full for the policies, but would keep the money for his own use and send the insurance company a policy for monthly payments with his address.
“Evidence shows he possibly made some payments but stopped and the accounts are delinquent,” Sisk said.
According to Detective Tim Busby, some of Miles’ victims began filing complaints in July 2019 when they noticed oddities on checks they submitted as payment for the pre-arrangement policies.
One victim contacted detectives after noticing the check she wrote for her husband’s pre-pay funeral was processed and returned with Miles’ name in the “pay to” section, reports show.
Another victim reported writing Miles a check for $5,412.50 for a pre-pay funeral in March of last year.
“Mr. Miles told her (the victim) to leave the ‘pay to’ line blank on the check because the insurance company preferred to use a stamp,” Detective Busby stated in the case file. “Mr. Miles deposited the funds in his personal checking account and converted the funds for his own use.”
Although Miles is now in custody, detectives are still trying to determine how many other potential victims may be out in the community.
“If you purchased a funeral pre-arrangement insurance policy from Kevin Miles through Atlantic Coastal Life Insurance of Charleston, Soutth Carolina, between June 2017 and July 2019, you need to contact Atlantic Coastal Life Insurance and confirm your policy is in good standing,” Sisk said. “If it is not, we ask that you contact Detective Tim Busby of the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office at 706-935-2424.”