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Attorney General's office working to help grieving families with headstones, refunds

Greenfield Granite focus of criminal investigation
Greenfield Granite
Posted at 12:22 PM, Sep 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-18 07:17:06-04

HANCOCK COUNTY — The Indiana Attorney General’s office is working with Greenfield police and the Hancock County Prosecutor’s office to help grieving families get some resolution from a Greenfield headstone company.

On Sept. 8, Greenfield Granite owner Amie Strohl, died by suicide hours before she was scheduled to appear in court to face allegations in a civil lawsuit against her.

At the time of Strohl’s death, Greenfield Police had been conducting a criminal investigation into Greenfield Granite after receiving numerous complaints from consumers about paying for headstones and not receiving the product or a refund.

Greenfield Police Deputy Police Chief Brian Hartman said they’ve received complaints from at least 70 people regarding Greenfield Granite, and the criminal investigation is still underway.

They’re also working with the Indiana Attorney General’s office to help Greenfield Granite customers with any unfinished business.

"It's concerning that these allegations involve very sensitive issues,” said Scott Barnhart, Chief Counsel and Director of Consumer Protection at the Indiana Attorney General’s office. “We're talking about the death of a loved one at a time when you're grieving, and you don't necessarily want to deal with a business that's not doing what they're supposed to do.”

The Attorney General’s office is asking consumers to file a complaint at www.indianaconsumer.com.

“We rely heavily on the consumer to give us details about what is going on, and if there is an investigation, using that information to direct that investigation,” said Barnhart. “We want to get relief for the consumer in some form or fashion.”

Barnhart said they have options to resolve consumer complaints, even if a business closes or the owner is deceased.

“In general, there are remedies that the office has to pursue companies or individuals if they're connected and there's liability there,” said Barnhart. “That could be in the form of a fine or penalty, that could be in the form of restitution or an injunction in certain circumstances. There are a lot of tools that the attorney general's office can ask for and a court can ask for if the threshold is met."

Mary Collins filed a complaint with the Attorney General’s office in July after Greenfield Granite failed to provide an $1800 refund for her husband’s memorial bench that was never finished.

PREVIOUS | Grieving families upset with headstone company over delays

“It’s been awful,” said Collins. “I can’t explain it.”

We first introduced you to Collins and other grieving families last month who were waiting on headstones or refunds from Greenfield Granite.

“I’m coming out to a pile of dirt,” said Collins. “I can’t sit with him.”

Collins expressed her condolences to Amie Strohl’s family.

She’s still hoping for some resolution for herself and other grieving families.

Tips for the Indiana Attorney General’s Office on dealing with a business

  • Document everything
  • Keep copies of contract, receipts
  • Retain emails, text messages and other communications
  • Keep track of first and last names of employees you work with
  • File a complaint at www.indianaconsumer.com
  • Prior to hiring, search for criminal or civil actions at mycase.in.gov
  • Ask for references
  • Never pay all the money upfront
  • Hold back at least half of the money upon completion

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