The issue of prepaid funerals was a major topic at Mr. Griffin's bankruptcy hearing Wednesday. Several senior citizens demanded the return of the money they said they paid to Mr. Griffin or Thomasine Ketch for future funeral arrangements. Mr. Griffin said the money is gone.
Mr. Griffin filed for bankruptcy Aug. 20. He listed the debts and assets of Dent's funeral home as his own.
Mr. Griffin testified at Wednesday's hearing that he has a two-thirds ownership of Dent's funeral home. He said the previous owners and descendents of Dent's founders, Ms. Ketch and Juliette Burton, turned over majority ownership to him in 2005.
A check of state records Thursday confirmed Frank V. Griffin's protest that he is not the licensed funeral home director at Dent's, which The Augusta Chronicle titled him in a Thursday article and three others published since 1999.
According to the State Board of Funeral Services, the state licensed Mr. Griffin in 1976 to provide funeral services, but the license expired in 1981.
Ms. Ketch has an active funeral director's license, according to state records. She was censured and fined $500 in 2006 for allowing Mr. Griffin to make pre-need funeral arrangements for a family.
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FILING A CLAIM?
The deadline to file a claim in U.S. District Bankruptcy Court by those who believe they have a financial claim against Frank V. Griffin or the Historic Dent's Undertaking Establishment is July 14.