State investigators disclosed Thursday that the owners of an embattled Carson cemetery allegedly embezzled about $400,000 from an endowment fund--money that should have gone for upkeep of the decaying burial grounds.
"It may go higher," state Cemetery Board investigator Bob Dail said of the money taken from Lincoln Memorial Park cemetery.
Officials also shed light on the origin of their investigation into the cemetery, the second such inquiry in two months. Earlier this summer, a lawsuit was filed against a Santa Fe Springs cemetery, where numerous violations--including a pile of human bones--were discovered in late June at Paradise Memorial Park.
Ray Giunta, Cemetery Board director, said investigators began their probe of Lincoln at the suggestion of outraged family members who had relatives buried at the Sante Fe Springs site and suggested that investigators look into the second cemetery.
"People at Paradise said, 'Please check out Lincoln. It's bad too,' " he said.
Also, Lincoln officials this year neglected to file a necessary state report on the status of the endowment fund, causing additional suspicion, Giunta said.