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Business owner defends funeral home in ID theft case

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Updated: 6/02 9:32 pm

ALBANY, N.Y. – An Albany funeral home owner said his business is being wrongly implicated in an identity theft case.

The Albany County Sheriff’s Office arrested two people in April in connection to identity theft charges. Police said 45-year-old Suzette Guzman-Moore and 25-year-old Emmett Woods stole the identities of multiple people and used the information to open fraudulent credit cards.

Police searched the couple’s home and found laptops, smart phone, credit card statements and other personal information which led to the charges. Police have since been investigating two other persons of interest.

One of those people has worked at Garland Brothers Funeral Home since 1971. Police said they fund personal information from the coroner’s office in the employee’s home.

Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said the person of interest was hired as a contractor by the funeral home to transport bodies at the request of the coroner. But both owner Benjamin Garland and Sheriff Apple said at no time was any of the funeral home’s clients’ personal information stolen from the funeral home.

“None of the clients that I’ve served over the period of years are involved in this investigation that I’ve serviced at Garland Brothers,” Garland said.

“To say that they’re exonerated or implicated are really unfair statements,” Apple said. “All we’re saying is they have an employee who we’ve interviewed who will probably be interviewed again and that’s where we’re at.”

Police said the person of interest was close friends with Woods.

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