FAYETTEVILLE — A temporary restraining order filed against Majestic Funeral Home and its owner Eric Matthews has been extended and the Elizabethtown funeral home ordered to remain closed until the new hearing.
On April 28, H.M. Colvin Funeral Home filed a restraining order in Cumberland County District Court citing the following:
— That, in 2009, while employed by Colvin and under a no-compete contract, Matthews established Matthews Funeral Home, with its office in Wayne County and its operation in Robeson County, with the latter being a place where Colvin does substantial business.
— That in 2009, Matthews was terminated for breach of contract.
— That the two parties reached an agreement in 2009 and that Matthews was fined $45,000. As part of the agreement, Matthews acknowledged that he would make compliant all records and abide by all trade secrets.
— That in 2011, Matthews was convicted of Obtaining Property by False Pretenses for the time that he was with Colvin.
— That in 2013, Matthews was ordered to surrender his funeral director license and funeral establishment permit for the mishandling of numerous funds. He was ordered to make restitution to Colvin in the amount of around $9,000. (As a result of this investigation, he was also ordered to make restitution to 16 clients of Matthews Funeral Home in the amount of around $33,000, per a consent order signed by Matthews in 2013, for failing to file contracts or deposit funds.)
— That Matthews intentionally concealed the information about the misappropriated funds from Colvin when signing the 2009 agreement.
The restraining order based on the above information was granted on April 28, a hearing was set for May 6, and Matthews was ordered to close Majestic Funeral Home until the hearing.
On May 6, an extension on the restraining order was signed, citing that “Neither … Matthews … nor (his) counsel, Jerry Braswell, were present.” The order stated that Braswell had a conflict.
“Mr. Matthews has unlawfully taken nearly $50,000 from the elderly and grieving families in Robeson and Wayne Counties, some of which our company has had to replace. He can’t blame anyone for that but himself,” said Colvin. “In my opinion, his actions continue to show a disregard for the rule of law. I am hopeful the courts will help us conclude this matter once and for all.”
The new hearing is set for May 16 in Cumberland County.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.