Appeal from the Order of the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, State Board of Funeral Directors, in the case of In the Matter of the Suspension or Revocation of the Funeral Director's License No. FD-012609-L, and Funeral Supervisor's License No. FS-012609-L, both issued to Edward F. Mulligan a/k/a Edward F. Vogelman, dated October 6, 1987.
George W. Berkelbach, III, George W. Berkelbach, III, Ltd., for petitioner.
Joseph P. Alexa, Assistant Counsel, with him, Joyce McKeever, Chief Counsel, Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, and Velma A. Boozer, Chief Counsel, Department of State, for respondent.
Judges Doyle and Palladino, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Barbieri. Judge MacPhail did not participate in the decision in this case.
[ 121 Pa. Commw. Page 456]
Edward F. Vogelman a/k/a Edward Mulligan (Petitioner) appeals an order of Pennsylvania State Board of Funeral Directors (Board) revoking his licenses to practice as a funeral director and funeral supervisor and fining him $1,000.00 pursuant to Sections 11(a)(3) and 17(b) of the Funeral Director Law*fn1 (Law).
Petitioner was licensed to practice as a funeral director in Pennsylvania as of July 27, 1984 and received his funeral supervisor's license as of August 8, 1985. On February 26, 1986, Petitioner pled guilty to the following criminal charges in federal court: one count of conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371; one count of income tax evasion in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7201; one count of false statements on income tax returns in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7206(1); and two counts of mail fraud, and aiding and abetting in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1341.
[ 121 Pa. Commw. Page 457]
The guilty pleas arose from a fraudulent scheme Petitioner was involved in between 1976 and 1982. Petitioner would receive brass ingots from the chief chemist at U.S. Metals Refining, Inc. who prepared false assay certificates representing that these brass ingots contained precious metals such as gold and silver. Petitioner would then sell the ingots to U.S. Metals, a subsidiary of Amax, Inc. and be paid the market rate for ingots containing precious metals.
Petitioner admitted he acted as a broker in these transactions and received a 5% fee. Shortly after he began making the deliveries, he realized the fraudulent nature of the scheme. He then demanded and received from the chief chemist a sum of $100,000.00 in addition to his broker's fee and continued to participate in the scheme.
Relying on the fraudulent representations that the brass ingots contained precious metals, Amax, Inc. was defrauded of approximately 2.5 million dollars between 1976 and 1982. Petitioner failed to disclose the income he had from this scheme to the Internal Revenue Service, thereby understating his income for the years 1979 through 1982 by approximately $427,000.00.*fn2
After entering his guilty plea in federal court to conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, Petitioner was sentenced to five years imprisonment. The first six months were to be spent in a halfway house with work release. The remaining 4 1/2 year sentence was suspended and Petitioner placed on probation instead. Petitioner was ordered further to make restitution of ...