AG NEWS RELEASE: Mortuary owner guilty of theft

Posted on Oct 16, 2015 in Latest News, Newsroom, Press Releases

HONOLULU – Attorney General Doug Chin announced today that Claus Z. Hansen, owner of Affordable Casket and Moanalua Mortuary, pleaded guilty to 7 counts of felony theft in state circuit court. Under a plea agreement, Hansen will serve 30 days in jail, pay $50,000 to the Crime Victim’s Compensation Fund, and perform 300 hours of community service. Hansen will be sentenced on December 22, 2015 before the Honorable Dean Ochiai.

Attorney General Chin said, “Mr. Hansen preyed on underprivileged people mourning the loss of loved ones. Fortunately, an employee had the courage to step forward and report this crime.”

From 2009 to 2013 the State Medicaid program paid survivors as much as $800 in death benefits to help defray the costs of funeral services. An employee reported that Hansen directed them to identify potential eligible survivors through racial and socioeconomic profiling. He further instructed his employees to offer Medicaid money as an inducement to contract with his mortuary.

According to Deputy Attorney General Michael Parrish, “Customers were promised refunds once the State Medicaid program paid benefits to Hansen. Instead, Hansen instructed his employees not to contact the survivors when the money came in or to ignore them if they didn’t pester the mortuary for their promised refund.”

One of Hansen’s employees reported these actions to the Medicaid program, which confirmed the payments. Hansen’s bank statements indicated he failed to pay as many as 161 beneficiaries totaling more than $90,000 as of May 2013. Only after Hansen became aware of the criminal investigation did he attempt to repay the families and friends. He has since paid all but three parties whom the State has been unable to locate.

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For more information, contact:

Joshua A. Wisch

Special Assistant to the Attorney General

(808) 586-1284