$500K theft accusation puts Baloney Funeral siblings at odds

Published 12:07 am Saturday, March 4, 2017

LAPLACE — Brother has been pitted against sister in a St. John the Baptist Parish funeral home feud that has grown to include lawyers and a theft accusation of more than half a million dollars.

The Trapolin Law Firm of New Orleans sent out a release this week publicizing a recent judgment where Carmen Baloney was ordered by a St. John the Baptist court to pay $500,000 to the Baloney Funeral Home of LaPlace after embezzling more than $500,000 from the business.

“Carmen would take insurance checks to pay for funerals and cash them at a local grocery store,” said Carl Baloney Sr., owner of the Baloney Funeral Home, in a release provided by Trapolin Law Firm. “The Baloney Funeral Home honored all of the pre-paid funerals where money was embezzled.”

Carmen Baloney and Carl Baloney are siblings. Carmen Baloney told L’OBSERVATEUR the release and accusations by her brother are not true, adding “this stuff has not gone to court.”

“Carl is very angry with me, because I am with another firm right now and he’ll say and do anything,” Carmen Baloney said. “His thing is to get out here and embarrass me. It’s a big family feud that is going on right now. I have never received anything from a judge telling me anything or any papers signed by me.”

Carmen Baloney maintains she never stole anything and her relationship with her brother deteriorated after their mother, Ophelia Borne Baloney, died in 2011.

Carmen Baloney said she met with an attorney this week to address the situation.

Carl Baloney said after being confronted with the accounting, Carmen Baloney signed an agreement to repay Baloney Funeral Home money she took from the company, adding she did not make payments and that forced him to sue his sister.

“Carmen did not even appear in court to defend herself,” Carl Baloney said of the lawsuit, adding he did not press criminal charges because he did not want his sister to go to jail.

“She stole from me, but she also stole from our customers,” he said.

According to the Trapolin Law Firm, the judgment against Carmen Baloney was entered Dec. 2 in the 40th Judicial District Court for the Parish of St. John.

“We take this crime seriously. It was a crime against the Baloney Funeral Home, our family and staff, and most importantly you — our valued customers,” said Carl Baloney in a statement directed to community members. “We understand that a situation like this creates stress and anxiety about the safety of your accounts with us. Our brand has been built on a 60-year foundation of trust with our customers, and we want to assure you that the cause of this issue has been addressed so that you can continue to have confidence in The Baloney Funeral Home and its staff.”

According to Carl Baloney, Carmen Baloney, in a role as funeral director with Baloney Funeral Home, intercepted insurance checks from the post office and cashed them at Garyville General Store between January 2007 and October 2010.

When combined with the theft of cash and other checks, the total amount stolen was in excess of $850,000, Carl Baloney said.

Baloney Funeral Home filed a Petition for Damages for Breach of Contract against Carmen Baloney in July. On Dec. 1, Judge J. Sterling Snowdy of the 40th Judicial District Court, signed a Judgment ordering Carmen Baloney to repay $500,000 in restitution to Carl Baloney and Baloney Funeral Home.