Ryder Funeral Home ordered to pay up to $500,000 in restitution

Former director banned from practicing in funeral business

William Ryder is seen here in a WWLP file image from a Hampshire Superior Court arraignment in 2015.

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The Ryder Funeral Home Inc. and its former director are banned from the funeral business.

A news release sent to 22News from the Attorney General’s office stated that a judge ordered William W. Ryder and the company to pay $471,446 in restitution after mishandling human remains and misappropriating deposits, on Thursday.

“We expect all funeral service providers to operate with respect for the deceased and their families,” Attorney General Maura Healey said. “It is intolerable that any providers would take advantage of the trust placed in them by grieving families.”

The Hampshire Superior Court resolved claims that Ryder and the funeral home collected money from clients and failed to create funeral trust accounts or purchase insurance policies as required under state laws.

The establishment also failed to timely cremate or embalm human remains and did nothing to stop the decomposition of embalmed bodies.

The Ryder Funeral Home and William Ryder will also pay $347,500 in civil penalties and attorney fees, which is suspended until they comply with the terms of the settlement.

The investigation of the funeral home began in May 2014, when an investigator from the Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensure visited the funeral home and found multiple bodies not being handled properly.