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Paradise Memorial Park

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 12, 1995
State officials today begin the task of digging up remains from the Paradise Memorial Park in Santa Fe Springs to relocate to other cemeteries. A 7 a.m. disinterment--to be kept private at the request of the family--was to be the first of three scheduled for this week, said Raymond Giunta, executive director of the California Cemetery Board. State officials seized the cemetery last month after turning up evidence that its operators had unearthed bodies to resell graves.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 2, 1999 | CAITLIN LIU, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Ending legal action by relatives whose family graves had been mishandled by a Santa Fe Springs cemetery, a court commissioner approved a $3.9-million settlement Thursday with about 40 mortuaries in the Los Angeles area. "The court made the right decision. I don't think anything can be done to improve the settlement amount received," said Mike Arias, one of the lead attorneys for the plaintiffs. But some of the families involved said they felt little sense of closure.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 30, 1995
A handful of people whose loved ones were buried in a Santa Fe Springs cemetery urged authorities Tuesday to file charges quickly against the cemetery's owners, who allegedly dug up bodies and resold graves. "We're demanding that the district attorney file charges," Queen Malkah, a member of the group Graveyard Rip-Offs and Violations Must End (GRAVE) said Tuesday at a small demonstration outside the Criminal Courts Building in Downtown Los Angeles.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 14, 1999 | JACK LEONARD, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
For nearly four years, Charles Barfield dreamed of rescuing his mother from her grave. When she died in 1991, his family buried her where they could afford to, at Paradise Memorial Park, a Santa Fe Springs cemetery that offered some of the lowest fees in Los Angeles County. Then, in June 1995, state investigators made a grisly announcement: Thousands of bodies at the cemetery had been mishandled, some even dug up and discarded.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 7, 1995
About 300 people a day continue to flood into Paradise Memorial Park--a Santa Fe Springs cemetery where bodies were unearthed and plots allegedly resold--to determine whether the graves of their deceased loved ones were desecrated, an official said Thursday. State cemetery officials await word from Gov.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 25, 1995
Families whose loved ones were buried at a cemetery where officials found evidence of illegal disinterment and resale of graves will gather Sunday for a service at a South-Central Los Angeles church. State officials closed Paradise Memorial Park in Santa Fe Springs last month after discovering remains had been dug up and cast aside so plots could be resold. Operators also allegedly buried more than one person in graves without relatives' permission.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 21, 1995
A judge Thursday gave the state Cemetery Board authority to use restricted trust funds to reopen a Santa Fe Springs cemetery, where remains had been dug up and cast aside so plots could be resold. However, it remained uncertain whether the board, which had ordered Paradise Memorial Park closed down at 6 p.m. Wednesday, would act on Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Bruce E. Mitchell's ruling.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 28, 1995
Families who buried their dead at a Santa Fe Springs cemetery have sued the owners over illegal disinterments and multiple burials that allegedly took place. The Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit includes about 100 plaintiffs, all relatives of people buried at Paradise Memorial Park, but that figure is expected to grow, lawyer Mike Arias said Tuesday. "When all is done and said it will probably be over 1,000 [plaintiffs]," Arias said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 14, 1995
Gravediggers dug up the remains of a corpse Thursday at the Paradise Memorial Park in Santa Fe Springs for relocation today to another area of the cemetery. It was the first of what are expected to be numerous relocations at the behest of surviving family members, who are distressed about alleged improprieties at the cemetery. State officials seized the cemetery last month after turning up evidence that its operators unearthed bodies to resell graves.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 2, 1999 | CAITLIN LIU, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Ending legal action by relatives whose family graves had been mishandled by a Santa Fe Springs cemetery, a court commissioner approved a $3.9-million settlement Thursday with about 40 mortuaries in the Los Angeles area. "The court made the right decision. I don't think anything can be done to improve the settlement amount received," said Mike Arias, one of the lead attorneys for the plaintiffs. But some of the families involved said they felt little sense of closure.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 23, 1997
Two family members who owned and ran a cemetery in Santa Fe Springs were sentenced to jail time and each fined $500,000 Friday for their roles in a scheme to dig up and resell grave sites. In May, Alma Fraction, 70, owner of the Paradise Memorial Park, and her 32-year-old daughter, Felicia, who managed the cemetery, pleaded no contest to three counts each of unlawful use of endowment care funds. On Friday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Morris B.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 10, 1996 | ABIGAIL GOLDMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The family owner-managers of Paradise Memorial Park cemetery in Santa Fe Springs pleaded no contest Monday to charges alleging the family embezzled funds set up for cemetery maintenance and dug up graves to resell the plots. Groundskeeper Victor Fortner, 48, was indicted by a grand jury in January on 69 counts of criminally disinterring human remains and illegal use of cemetery funds.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 24, 1996 | ERIC SLATER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In the most grisly case to come out of the Southern California cemetery scandals, the groundskeeper of a Santa Fe Springs graveyard faces 69 felony counts of illegally digging up remains, grand theft, fraud and embezzlement, authorities said Tuesday. The groundskeeper's mother, who owns Paradise Memorial Park, and sister, general manager of the facility, also face three counts each of embezzling maintenance funds from the cemetery, Los Angeles County sheriff's officials said.
NEWS
September 13, 1995 | ERIC SLATER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In ancient Egypt, thieves plundered golden treasure from the tombs of kings. In 1990s Los Angeles, the burial gold lies in the real estate, in the grave sites themselves. There will always be more dead people, but there will not always be more land to put them in.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 7, 1995 | ERIC SLATER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
State officials plan to investigate at least 13 California cemeteries that failed to file required financial reports for 1993 and 1994. The lack of required reports is considered a warning signal by Cemetery Board officials who earlier this summer seized two Los Angeles County cemeteries, alleging that among other violations, graves at Paradise Memorial Park in Santa Fe Springs had been dug and resold multiple times and that owners of Lincoln Memorial...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 30, 1995
A handful of people whose loved ones were buried in a Santa Fe Springs cemetery urged authorities Tuesday to file charges quickly against the cemetery's owners, who allegedly dug up bodies and resold graves. "We're demanding that the district attorney file charges," Queen Malkah, a member of the group Graveyard Rip-Offs and Violations Must End (GRAVE) said Tuesday at a small demonstration outside the Criminal Courts Building in Downtown Los Angeles.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 13, 1995 | ERIC SLATER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In ancient Egypt, thieves plundered golden treasure from the tombs of kings. In 1990s Los Angeles, the burial gold lies in the real estate, in the grave sites themselves. There will always be more dead people, but there will not always be more land to put them in.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 17, 1995 | GREG KRIKORIAN and ERIC SLATER, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
The state's top cemetery official inspected a weed-choked cemetery in Carson on Wednesday as the first look inside its mausoleum appeared to confirm the fears of many: at least a dozen chambers, each able to hold several coffins, were empty.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 25, 1995
Families whose loved ones were buried at a cemetery where officials found evidence of illegal disinterment and resale of graves will gather Sunday for a service at a South-Central Los Angeles church. State officials closed Paradise Memorial Park in Santa Fe Springs last month after discovering remains had been dug up and cast aside so plots could be resold. Operators also allegedly buried more than one person in graves without relatives' permission.
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