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Press Release

Headstone Salesman Charged with Defrauding Hundreds of Customers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero announced that Gregory J. Stefan, Jr., 54, of Upper Merion, Pennsylvania, was arrested and charged by indictment with seven counts of wire fraud, arising from fraudulent business practices he employed in the operation and management of headstone sales companies.

The indictment alleges that between January 2018 and September 2023, Stefan—through his businesses 1843 LLC and Colonial Memorials—defrauded hundreds of grieving customers by entering into contracts to provide custom headstone and engraving services for their deceased loved ones that he knew he would not deliver on the promised timeline, if at all. Stefan demanded large up-front payments from his customers (often 100% of the purchase price) but routinely failed to fulfill their orders by the projected delivery date. When customers reached out to request updates on the status of their overdue orders, Stefan either ignored them or employed lulling tactics and assured them that their orders would be delivered shortly without taking any steps to follow through on those assurances. According to the indictment, Stefan failed to deliver, or provide refunds for, orders placed by almost 500 customers who had paid Stefan in excess of $1.5 million.

The defendant made an initial appearance in federal court on these charges before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jose R. Arteaga this afternoon.

If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of 140 years’ imprisonment.

The case was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jessica Rice.

An indictment, information, or criminal complaint is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated July 9, 2024