On March 1, 2006, the Martin Family, known as Badtec, Inc, took ownership of Southern Memorial Gardens. As a result of fraud and misrepresentation, the Martin Family was forced to file suit against the previous owner, Larry Deffenbaugh.
The Office of Cemetery Oversight (OCO) was fully and keenly aware of all fraudulent and dishonest acts by the previous owner. Even though the State of Maryland proceeded to file charges against Larry Deffenbaugh, the OCO chose to take the path of least resistance by doing nothing, except watch. Legal and Accounting fees mounted, yet the Martin Family was determined to protect the citizens of Calvert County and surrounds with their contracts. There is not a single contract that was ever denied.
In June of 2009, the OCO refused to reissue the Martins their license in which to operate. Their reason, “This office does not feel that Southern Memorial Gardens is financially viable”. Please understand that the Martins, during this economic recession, infused funds and continued to honor all contracts and provide all services.
To this day, the OCO will not admit their gross mismanagement and unprofessional behavior in how they ignored the actions of the previous owner, nor can they justify victimizing hundreds of contract holders at Southern Memorial Gardens. One must understand that this two-person agency has the authority and ability to victimize hundreds, by closing down their Cemetery, yet they have no mechanism or resources in place in which to correct the debacle they have created.
When asked who, or what will take care of the people, the calls, up keep of Southern Memorial Gardens OCO said they would handle it. OCO has never taken the calls or let the public know how or what was going on…………………….
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