The receiver in charge of Fairview Memorial Park filed a new report Tuesday stating that he is in the middle of negotiations to sell part or all of the land located on US 23 south of Delaware.
AC Strip, a Columbus attorney who was appointed as the receiver for Fairview in May 2017, has been managing the cemetery’s affairs since the owners, Theodore and Arminda Martin, were charged with felony theft for selling items, but never delivering them at the cemetery.
Theodore and Arminda Martin were sentenced to five years and four and a half years in prison, respectively, after they pleaded guilty to 14 and 15 theft charges, respectively, and were ordered to pay restitution to 67 victims in the amount of more than $183,000.
Similar proceedings are underway in Portage County, where the Martins own another cemetery, Grandview Memorial Park.
Since May, Strip has been delivering regular reports to Delaware County Common Pleas Judge David Gormley about the cemetery’s progress and future. At a hearing in September, Gormley ordered that the Martins’ business, Fairview Memorial Park LLC, be dissolved.
On Tuesday, Strip reported that the cemetery continues to operate in a “business as usual” manner. He said he gets calls on a daily basis from people concerned about the cemetery or plots they may or may not own.
“Inquiries involve requests from the receiver to assure them they still own plots for which they paid, requests as to the location a family member may be buried, follow-up questions from persons who have filled a proof of claim seeking the status, and new claims from persons who have seen recent publicity and wishing to file a claim,” Strip said in his report. “The claims continue to center around goods that were paid for and never received…”
Strip says he is regularly overseeing burials and has a good relationship with all the local funeral homes.
Strip also reported that he is working on selling the property.
“The Receiver is currently working on the sale of all or part of the premises of the within receivership,” Strip said. “We are presently in negotiation for the sale of 8.3 acres which are adjacent to the cemetery. It is anticipated that within the next several weeks, your Receiver will submit an application for permission to sell the premises. It will be complicated in many ways as it will require a lot split and also cooperation and a resolution of the issues with the Internal Revenue Service which has substantial liens on the properties.”
Contact Glenn Battishill at 740-413-0903. Follow him on Twitter @BattishillDG.