Man accused of charging families double for cemetery plots in St - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Man accused of charging families double for cemetery plots in Staffordville

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STAFFORD, CT (WFSB) -

The former president of the Staffordville Cemetery Association was arrested after state police said he stole tens of thousands of dollars to fund his addiction to cocaine.

Mitchell Muzio, 49, is accused of stealing more than $26,000 from the cemetery association and from bereaved families burying their loved ones. According to court papers, Muzio was charging families double for burials.

Muzio, who has been charged with first-degree larceny, made 59 illegal withdrawals from the Staffordville Cemetery Association's account before he was arrested by state police.

"That's pretty low if you ask me," said Tina Anstett of Staffordville.

According to the vice president of Staffordville Cemetery Association, Muzio overcharged families for three months. He would charge families a $1,000 apiece, instead of $500 that was the standard rate.

"They don't really know the reasonable prices they should be paying for things so they're going to trust him," said Lisa Durbis of Staffordville.

Police said Muzio used the money to purchase cocaine. He admitted to police that he needs help and is seeking it from the Natchaug Hospital.

The married father of two is well known in the Stafford area and works as a materials storage supervisor for Eastern Connecticut State University.

"If a family member or close friend has passed away, just to steal from the community like that for their own selfish gain is really tragic, actually," said Vanessa Martin, who works in Staffordville.

Muzio was released on a $100,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Superior Court in Rockville on Oct. 23.

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