The former owners of a Berlin Township cemetery will serve years in prison for stealing from their customers.
According to a news release from the Delaware County Prosecutor's Office, Theodore L. Martin, 54, on Dec. 8 was sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to 14 felony counts of theft beyond the scope of consent.
On the same day, his wife, Arminda K. Martin, 47, was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison after pleading guilty to 15 felony counts of theft beyond the scope of consent, the release states.
The couple previously owned Fairview Memorial Park, a private cemetery off U.S. Route 23 just south of Delaware.
According to the prosecutor's office, the Martins failed to provide grave markers and other items to customers after they paid for them.
"The Martins took advantage of people when they were especially vulnerable," Delaware County Prosecutor Carol O'Brien said in a statement. "Their actions compounded the hurt and difficult emotions families have to process when a loved one is lost."
Before they agreed to plead guilty in October, the Martins faced dozens of charges related to 67 victims identified by investigators. The couple has been ordered to pay more than $183,000 in restitution to their victims, according to the prosecutor's office.
A judge earlier this year appointed attorney A.C. Strip as receiver for the troubled cemetery. Strip has been tasked with maintaining the property until the cemetery can be dissolved or sold.
Along with Fairview Memorial Park, the Martins previously operated cemeteries in Ravenna and Dover, Pennsylvania.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, a federal judge in October 2016 sentenced each of the Martins to one year and one day in federal prison for tax evasion.
The couple also were ordered to pay $304,837 in restitution to the IRS, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.