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Colorado funeral home owners found with nearly 200 decomposing bodies, charged with COVID fraud

A couple who owned a Colorado funeral home faces fraud charges among other things, after allegedly spending over $880,000 in COVID relief funds on vacations and luxury items

A Colorado Springs, Colorado couple who authorities claim abandoned nearly 200 bodies in a building infested with maggots and flies, faces additional charges after allegedly spending more than $880,000 in COVID relief funds on vacations, cosmetic surgery and other personal expenses.

Jon Hallford and his wife, Carie Hallford, owned the Back to Nature Funeral Home in Colorado Springs and had been facing 190 counts of abuse of a corpse, five counts of theft, four counts of money laundering and over 50 counts of forgery.

An indictment unsealed on Monday alleged the Hallfords used $882,300 in COVID pandemic relief funds to buy items for themselves, including cars, dinners, cryptocurrency and tuition for their child.

The 15 federal offenses carry potential penalties of 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines, according to the indictment.

Between March 2020 and October 2021, prosecutors claim, Jon and Carie fraudulently obtained three loans.

COLORADO FUNERAL HOME OWNERS WHO ABANDONED BODIES SPENT CREMATION, BURIAL MONEY ON VEHICLES, $1,500 DINNER

In previously released court documents regarding the abuse of corpse case, more details were revealed about what the Hallfords used the money for.

They allegedly purchased a GMC Yukon and an Infiniti with a combined worth of over $120,000.

The couple also took trips to California, Florida and Las Vegas, purchased $31,000 in cryptocurrency, shopped at luxury retailers like Tiffany & Co. and Gucci, and paid for laser body sculpting, court documents allege.

COLORADO FUNERAL HOME OWNERS FACE CHARGES AFTER DISCOVERY OF 190 DECOMPOSING BODIES

FBI agent Andrew Cohen testified in February that the money – which they received as an adjustment to a pandemic-era small business loan – used to buy the Yukon was obtained fraudulently after Jon lied and said he was not behind on child support payments.

The court documents reaffirm accusations from state prosecutors that the Hallfords presented families with dry concrete instead of cremated ashes, while also alleging the couple buried the wrong body on two separate occasions.

The Hallfords collected over $130,000 from families for cremation and burial services that they never followed through with, the indictment alleged.

COLORADO FUNERAL HOME OWNER WHO ALLEGEDLY LEFT ALMOST 200 BODIES TO ROT WILL APPEAR IN COURT

Cohen testified that the money was enough to cover cremation costs twice for all the bodies found in the business facility in October.

They were arrested in November 2023 in Oklahoma after an investigation that began in October, when 190 bodies were found inside a building in a nearby rural community as a body storage facility, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors previously presented text messages suggesting Carie Hallford and her husband tried to cover up their financial difficulties by leaving the bodies at the building in Penrose, which had makeshift refrigeration units that were not operating when the bodies were discovered, Cohen had testified.

Jon Hallford was worried about getting caught as far back as 2020, prosecutors alleged, and he suggested getting rid of the bodies by dumping them in a big hole, then treating them with lye or setting them on fire.

"My one and only focus is keeping us out of jail," he wrote in one text message, prosecutors allege.

Fox News Digital’s Elizabeth Pritchett and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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