JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A new arrest warrant has been issued for the former manager of a local cemetery who was charged with 15 counts of grand theft after an I-TEAM investigation that uncovered more than 70 complaints against Beaches Memorial Park and First Coast Funeral home in Atlantic Beach.
Nader Rayan did not appear in court Monday for a pretrial hearing and the judge presiding over the case ordered his arrest.
Rayan managed the cemetery and funeral home, and several customers told the I-TEAM that they paid Rayan for grave markers that he never provided.
Judge Russell Healey said last month that he was tired of the delays in Rayan's trial and told Rayan's defense attorney that he didn't want to hear any excuses about starting the trial on April 18.
That scheduled start is now in question after Rayan failed to appear Monday.
Rayan has switched attorneys three times since his arrest last July and was twice an hour late to his scheduled court hearings. He also told the court that he would pay $15,000 in restitution to the victims by Feb. 2, but that had not been done, as of March.
Rayan's wife, who used to own the businesses, has also been arrested on several forgery charges.
The cemetery is now under new ownership.