Former Emmetsburg Funeral Director Facing Multiple Felonies

–An Emmetsburg man was taken into custody Tuesday on multiple felony charges as part of a long-running investigation into the practices of a funeral home.

According to the Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Office, 46-year-old Andrew Joyce was arrested Tuesday afternoon on a valid Palo Alto County warrant for Ongoing Criminal Conduct-unlawful activity, a Class B Felony. Joyce is also facing charges of 1st Degree Theft, a Class C Felony, selling funeral services without a sales permit, a class D Felony as well as 2nd Degree Theft, a Class D Felony.

The Iowa Insurance Division’s Fraud Bureau began an investigation into Joyce back in 2019. The criminal complaints filed by IID Fraud Bureau allege that Joyce failed to comply with the requirements of Iowa Code Chapter 523A, which pertains to Cemetery and Funeral Merchandise as well as Funeral Services.

The IID issued a Cease and Desist order against Joyce, Joyce Funeral Home Inc. and Joyce-Alesch Funeral Home in October of 2019. The order required Joyce to stop selling pre-need funeral arrangements after the Fraud Bureau discovered money from those transactions was not being placed in a trust as required by Iowa law. Instead, those funds were comingled with personal and unrelated expenses.

Joyce was booked into the Palo Alto County Jail before posting bond on Wednesday.

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