Monuments business offers to help grieving families who feel scammed

The owner of a monument business in Franklin is reaching out to help grieving families who say they’ve been scammed.

News Center 7’s Monica Castro has reported several complaints against the previous owner of American Memorial Monuments in Miami Twp. She talked to and received emails from at least a dozen customers about how they’ve paid for gravestones they never received, and in some cases there was no record of their order. She also got a call from someone in the industry who wants to help.

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Jerry Richards and his staff are meticulous when it comes to the craftsmanship of their headstones. They know just how precious they are for the people who come in.

“These monuments, I’ll remember for years down the road, every time I go to the cemetery, I’ll be like ‘I remember that family,’” Richards said.

After seeing tears streaming from Judy King’s face over a headstone she still hasn’t gotten through American Memorial Monuments: “I want it done, it’s my son.”

And also Terina Turner who has had issues with the same business: “It broke my heart cause I worked hard to have my money and get my husband a nice stone.”

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Richards said he can’t erase the pain those families have experienced, but he wants to offer some assistance.

“Being in the business it’s pretty disturbing to hear this, unfortunately. Especially in these peoples’ time of need, when they are most prone to being taken advantage of,” he said.

Miami Twp. police said they are actively investigating American Memorial Monuments’ former owner, Darren Boykin. He has not been charged with any crimes and has not returned calls seeking comment.

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“What we’d like to do is offer our services of any monuments there that need to be set in a cemetery, delivered to the cemetery or anything we can help families with,” he said.

Richards said he welcomes families affected to call him at Richards Monuments, 1095 N. Main St. in Franklin, 937-746-2975.

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