Business Owner Charged With Stealing Money From Grieving Families
PENN HILLS (KDKA) — Mary and Alvin Bryant say they were the last of 51 customers who were ripped off by Curtis Eakman.
The 52-year-old, who owns Penn Hills Monuments, had been in the business of providing customized cemetery headstones for at least a decade.
But, according to police, Eakman started pocketing the cash in April of 2012 and never provided the promised services to the tune of just over $92,000.
“There’s no words to say how bad you hurt people that are already going through the grieving process,” Mary Bryant said.
“How does somebody sleep at night doing that to somebody?” Alvin Bryant added.
The criminal complaint says Eakman cashed $38,000 worth of checks for himself.
He also allegedly spent thousands of dollars at local restaurants, nightclubs and jewelry stores. The complaint says Eakman was spending the victims’ money just as fast as he was depositing it.
The Bryant family lost their son on Nov. 15.
They had to rely on donations just to pay for half of their son’s tombstone.
Going to his gravesite now is not the pristine memorial they wanted, but is instead a reminder that people can take advantage of others in such a great time of grief and despair.
Eakman turned himself into police on Wednesday. He’s in the Allegheny county jail on $20,000 straight bond.
The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office is handling the case.