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Former Palo Alto County funeral director faces charges

By Staff | Dec 31, 2020

EMMETSBURG — A former funeral director in Palo Alto County was arrested Tuesday for selling funeral services without a license. Andrew Joyce, 46, was taken into custody by the Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Office around 2:30 p.m.

Criminal charges listed on the arrest warrant include ongoing criminal conduct, a class B felony; theft in the 1st degree, a class C felony; selling funeral services without a sales permit, a class D felony; and theft in the 2nd degree, also a class D felony.

Bond was set in the amount of $25,000 cash only. The warrant stems from an ongoing criminal investigation by special investigators of the Iowa Insurance Fraud Bureau.

The investigation began in 2019 when Joyce, who operated the Joyce Funeral Home in Emmetsburg and the Joyce-Alesch Funeral Home in Graettinger, was reportedly found to be selling “pre-need” contracts for funerals and burials without a license

Joyce was released on bond following an initial court appearance Tuesday.