Funeral Director Forges Death Certificate Signatures: Cops

A Bucks County funeral home director is accused of forging death certificates and received thousands of dollars in disability benefits. NBC10’s Deanna Durante has the latest from the Faust Funeral Home in Hulmeville, Pennsylvania.

(Published Tuesday, April 25, 2017)

The owner of a Bucks County funeral home is accused of falsifying death certificates by forging doctors’ signatures and collecting more than $100,000 in social security disability benefits despite being able to work.

David Wayne Faust, 52, of Hulmeville, is charged with theft by deception, forgery, tampering with public records, receiving stolen property, identity theft, insurance fraud and other related offenses.

Faust, who owns the Faust Funeral Home on 902 Bellevue Avenue in Penndel, illegally filled in the names, titles, license numbers, addresses and signatures of seven different doctors on death certificates for seven people whose funerals his business handled between 2015 and 2016, according to investigators.

Investigators say a local registrar first became suspicious when she noticed the signature of a doctor whose handwriting she was familiar with appeared to be different on a death certificate that Faust submitted. She then discovered three other death certificates with inconsistent signatures from three other doctors, according to a probable cause affidavit. The Pennsylvania Department of State looked into what she found and then notified the Bucks County detectives, officials said.

A county detective confirmed with the seven doctors that they did not write the death certificates and that they were completed without their knowledge, authorization or consent, according to the affidavit. Officials also say they are looking into whether or not Faust overcharged his customers.

During the investigation, Faust allegedly told detectives he suffered from injuries to his head, neck and shoulders, took daily pain medication and received Social Security disability benefits. Officials say this contradicted statements Faust allegedly made to investigators that he handled most of the duties at his funeral home.

Faust allegedly claimed in Social Security Administration records that he had been unable to work since February 20, 2006 due to an injury to his head and neck though he continued to do his job to the best of his ability. According to the affidavit however, Faust also reported in a Continuing Disability Review Report submitted In October, 2015 that he had not worked since the summer of 2013. He also allegedly claimed in an earlier report filed in May, 2012 that his last day of work was in March of 2012.

Investigators say records show Faust created and wrote nearly all of the 298 client files between 2012 and August, 2016 at the funeral home despite claiming he was unable to work. Faust allegedly admitted in an interview that he continued to work at the funeral home, even during the years he claimed he was disabled.

Faust was arraigned on the charges against him and released on $2,500 unsecured bail. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 10.