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Another cremation business with ties to controversial ex-funeral director ordered to stop operations

Posted at 12:50 PM, Jun 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-16 14:08:48-04

(WXYZ)  — Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), along with Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, has issued another cease and desist order to a cremation business in metro Detroit with ties to O'Neil D. Swanson II.

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According to a press release from LARA, Comfort Cremation Services LLC in Troy, which lists Swanson as a member, has been operating without a mortuary science license.

Their investigation reportedly found that the LLC was transporting bodies to Tri-County Cremation Services LLC, which was also ordered to cease operations in early June. LARA also verified the following:

  • On April 10, 2020, attorney George A. Drosis organized Comfort Cremation Services LLC under the Michigan Limited Liability Company Act.
  • On June 3, 2020, Comfort Cremation Services LLC first identified George A. Drosis as its “member” on its Certificate of Assumed Name filed with LARA’s Corporations Division indicating that the LLC’s assumed name under which business to be transacted is “Tricounty Cremations.”
  • On June 2, 2021, George A. Drosis provided to LARA a document entitled “Stock Purchase Agreement,” signed by O’Neil D. Swanson, II on June 18, 2020, identifying O’Neil Swanson as a “member” of Comfort Cremation Services LLC.
  • The Agreement indicated that Comfort Cremation Services LLC purchased the Tri-County Cremation Services, L.L.C.’s name and business and entered into a land contract with Burrell Tri-County Vaults, Inc. to purchase the real estate associated with its crematory registration held under the Cemetery Regulation Act. The Agreement further indicated that the proceeds used to purchase the property and business were funded, at least in part, by a Small Business Administration loan.
  • According to its website, www.comfortcremationsnow.com [lnks.gd], Comfort Cremation Services LLC began publicizing obituaries listing dates of death beginning July 16, 2020.
  • Many of the deceased individuals found at Tri-County Cremation Services, L.L.C.’s crematory facility during LARA’s investigation beginning on May 26, 2021 and thereafter appear to have originated from Comfort Cremation Services LLC.

7 Action News had the only cameras rolling as law enforcement and the state raided the Tri-County Crematorium in Ypsilanti several weeks ago. The owners were identified as O’Neil D. Swanson, II, and Dianne E. Swanson. Controversial former funeral director O’Neil Swanson II has a history of licensing problems with the state, as previously reported by our 7 Investigators.

The state revoked his mortuary sciences license back in 2018 after they found decomposing bodies at his Flint funeral home. That means he’s not eligible to hold a controlling interest in a cemetery or crematory – but state officials say he purchased Tri-County crematory in March of 2020.

Swanson was also convicted of felony conversion of funds under the pre-paid funeral and cemetery sales act.

Drosis issued the following statement to 7 Action News regarding the cease and desist order against Comfort Cremation Services:

“We are shocked by the allegations put out by LARA on behalf of Comfort Cremation Services. It has not engaged in any licensed activity. It works exclusively with duly licensed funeral homes in the area who supervise and conduct all mortuary activity under an express service agreement. We are eager to address this matter with the department and our funeral providers.”

LARA is asking that anyone who thinks they may have had a loved one who received services from Comfort Cremation Services LLC or Tri-County Cremation Services LLC to contact them at 517-241-7000.