Winnipeg funeral home operator charged with forgery and fraud

A former funeral home operator has been charged with two dozen counts of forgery and fraud.

Winnipeg Police have accused Mike Knysh of stealing $35,000 from Manitobans who purchased pre-paid funeral plans from Knysh Funeral Chapel. At at one point, Knysh operated funeral homes on Fife Street in Winnipeg and another in Beausejour.

Investigators said between the years 2000 and 2015, nine victims purchased pre-paid plans from the funeral home, but instead of the money for those plans going into a trust, police allege it was stolen.

Knysh is also accused of creating fake death certificates for people who were not deceased.  Police said the alleged scam netted some $83,000.

Knysh was arrested over the weekend and has been charged with:

  • Fraud over $5,000 (x 4)
  • Fraud under $5,000 (x7)
  • Forgery (x 13)

Knysh has since been released on bail.

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Under law funeral homes selling pre-paid plans must put that money in a funeral trust licensed by the Public Utilities board.

Knysh was a licensed funeral director and embalmer from 1995-2015.

The Beausejour location was destroyed by fire in 2013.

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