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Ex-cemetery official must repay church in headstone scheme

A former public official who sold cemetery services for the Catholic Church in Grand Rapids has been ordered to pay more than $140,000 as restitution in an alleged kickback scheme.

Michael Wawee has served a jail sentence for embezzling from a charitable organization. The Grand Rapids Press  reports that a judge now has ordered him to pay the Diocese of Grand Rapids, after lawyers spent months negotiating an amount.
Wawee's attorney, Michael Kelly, says it was "well worth the effort."
Wawee was accused of taking payments from people who engraved headstones. He resigned as a Kent County commissioner when the news broke in 2014.

The Press says the restitution includes $29,000 for gas removed from cemetery tanks for Wawee's vehicles. Cemetery customers who were overcharged will be repaid.