CROWN POINT — The former treasurer for Kraft Funeral Home who is accused of stealing thousands of dollars from customers before the business went defunct in 2015 is scheduled for trial in March.

Jacqueline A. Kraft is scheduled for trial March 25 in Lake Criminal Court on 16 counts of theft, two counts of corrupt business influence and one count each of forgery and insurance fraud.

Judge Samuel L. Cappas advised Kraft, 67, Friday that if she failed to appear for the trial, a warrant would be issued for her arrest and she would be tried in absentia. He scheduled a pretrial conference for March 6.

Kraft, the widow of Hobart Police Chief Russell A. Kraft, allegedly defrauded at least 15 customers who purchased funeral services from Kraft Funeral and Cremation Services, according to court records.

She allegedly forged signatures to hide the thefts and attempted to shift blame on to her son, Russell A. Kraft Jr., during questioning by authorities.

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The state revoked the funeral home's license in February 2015 after an investigation revealed the business filed five insurance death claims on behalf of living clients. A state compensation fund paid out more than $86,000 to residents allegedly defrauded by the funeral home.

Kraft has pleaded not guilty to the charges. She posted a $30,000 surety bond Feb. 26.

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