A Delaware County man who was sued by the state attorney general for conning families into purchasing phony headstones has resurfaced—and victims fear gravestone-Grinch Greg Stefan raked up enough illegal dough to fend off a second lawsuit should it arise, Your Content has learned.
To make matters absolutely worse, when Stefan does deliver on the purchase, it is alleged he steals used stone from cemeteries—flips them upside down to engrave a new message for the afresh deceased person.
“He is also known to steal what’s called ‘flat markers’ and he turns them upside down to engrave them with a new name,” an individual familiar with the gravestone fraud told Your Content, noting Stefan snatched at-least one memorial from a cemetery in Springfield Township.
Stefan owns at-least fourteen locations—1843 Memorials on the 1600 block of Ivy Hill Road in Philadelphia and the 1000 block of Cedar Avenue in Upper Darby Township; Gallagher Memorials on the 3400 block of W Cheltenham Avenue in Philadelphia and eleven others named at the bottom of this article.
In 2015, Pennsylvania’s top prosecutor took the business and Stefan to court for allegedly failing to deliver cemetery markers, memorials and engravings after accepting advance payments following an explosive investigative piece by FOX 29’s Jeff Cole.
“The Commonwealth believes that the public interest is served by seeking a permanent injunction from this Honorable Court to restrain the methods, acts and practices of the Defendants,” the 2015 lawsuit reads. “The Commonwealth believes that the public is suffering and will continue to suffer harm unless the acts and practices complained of herein are permanently enjoined.”
But Stefan dodged criminal charges just as then-attorney general Kathleen Kane was indicted—ultimately leading to her resignation after being convicted in 2016 of perjury, obstruction and other counts for leaking grand jury material to a Philadelphia newspaper and then lying about it.
Sources with knowledge of the illegal operation told Your Content Stefan locates his victims on ‘obituaries’ to ‘stalk’ families as they make funeral arrangements.
“He looks at obituaries and finds out when funerals are. Then he stalks families in cemeteries and will follow them home to see where they live,” the source told Your Content.
Determined to keep his fortune, Stefan allegedly amassed a crack team of fixers after his first scam stint went sour in 2016, according to several new victims who spoke to Your Content about their dealings with the deceitful dealer.
In August 2020, Abby Williams was mourning the loss of her brother and husband when Stefan waltzed into their home in effort to sell them a stone.
Stefan found her information on an online obituary, Williams told Your Content, revealing she invited the conman inside her home for dinner and by nights end, he swindled the family for nearly $10,000.
“He came to my home; gave condolences and he sat at my table and ate my food,” Abby Williams of Norristown, Pennsylvania told Your Content. “Something was telling me to take pictures.”
After cutting him an $8,200 check—Stefan ditched the woman and she never heard back—until Williams made the wise decision to inquire about a new monument.
The gravestone sleaze fell for the bait and met with Williams to sell her a new gravestone—and unbeknownst to Stefan, it was the same customer he had recently swindled.
“He came out and took me to his office,” Williams said, noting he asked her to get in his car and the two would journey to the office under the false pretense of a cash refund.
“When we got there, he called the police without me knowing and asked me to hold his phone. He said he had called his business partners and asked me to hold his phone as collateral.
“Then, the police came and attempted to arrest me.” Williams continued. “But luckily, I was recording him on Facebook Live.”
“They said: ‘You’re under arrest.’ I said: ‘For what?’ They said: ‘Kidnapping and robbery!’”
Williams added: “I said: ‘How did I kidnap him—he brought me in his vehicle—push rewind on my phone. I’ve been recording the whole time.’ They said oh just take him to court, it’s civil.” Williams concluded, adding she hadn’t been able to contact Stefan ever since.
Williams is one of a long list of Stefan’s customers who’ve outed the con since 2007—and according to Action News, the list was at one hundred sixty victims as of Oct. 2019.
After Your Content received the initial tip and conducted research on the matter, we located eight recent victims who made similar accusations on Yelp.
“If I could give this company negative stars I would. My mother passed away in October 2019. I got a phone call and a home visit in December 2019. Very nice man. Put me at ease and I picked out what we wanted he even created the personal design that I had made for it. I paid the first initial deposit which they cashed right away.” Jennifer F wrote on Yelp.
“The headstone was supposed to be installed in March, and I didn’t hear from them. After calling them repeatedly for over two weeks, and even the lady at the cemetery calling them, I finally got a call back.”
Jennifer says a receptionist at Gallagher Memorials informed her that orders were backed up due to COVID-19 but insisted the grieving daughter was ‘high on their list.’
“[They said] not to worry because I was high on their list and I will be taken care of right away.
“My mother’s one-year anniversary is coming up and I just want to install the headstone for her so that we can have a proper gathering in her memory.”
Jennifer added: “This is a complete disgrace, the fact that you called call people who have lost somebody they love dearly, and you put on this comforting façade, and then completely ignore them after that.
“It’s not right. Just install the headstone—allow this family to finally find peace and comfort.”
Joann of Levittown, Pa., says they stole her money and never engraved her father’s headstone.
“These people are awful. I wish I had never heard of them.” Joann C. wrote on Yelp.
“They took my money and refuse to return it but have not engraved my dad’s headstone as promised. He died in March of 2018. They cashed the checks in July and still there is no name on the stone he shares with my mom.”
Kate of Northeast Philadelphia said Stefan cashed her check ‘the next day’ and told her ‘they had to remove the gravestone’ from the cemetery to finish the order.
“They cashed our check the next day and claimed the work would be done in 6 months. It’s been 8 months and 2 days.” Kate M. wrote on Yelp.
“This business will give nothing but excuses and also told my mother they had to remove the headstone to engrave it. That is not the cemetery’s policy! Huge scam!”
A Montgomeryville watchdog who goes by Jen D. located a whopping fourteen locations where Stefan dupes grieving families.
“Losing my father has proven to be the hardest, emotional devastation I have had to endure. To say it has not been easy on my family would be an understatement. For anyone who has experienced such a loss, you can relate to the mental fog you experience in the days and weeks following someone’s death.” Jen D. wrote on Yelp.
“We were overwhelmed by my father’s sudden death, unprepared and uneducated. My mother being the trusting individual she is, believed the lies and promises made by the man on the other end of Gallagher & Stefan Memorials cold call.”
According to Jen, Stefan met with her and grieved alongside them—but once she hit the most vulnerable point, he finessed his way into her bank.
“He met with us, watched us cry, we shared stories about my father and his love of Disney, which sparked him to tell us about his family and their upcoming vacation to Disney.” Jen D. declared.
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“We were in text and email correspondence for the weeks that followed our meeting; I was in contact with their designer. They were paid in full and were supplied everything they needed.”
Jen says weeks turned to months and her father’s grave still sits unmarked.
“They cashed my mom’s check, they gave the deposit to the cemetery, and they gave us short useless responses back with more empty promises.
“It has almost been a year, and my father’s grave still sits unmarked. This company should be ashamed of themselves. How do they sleep at night? What type of people prey on families when they are at their most vulnerable?”
A fifth victim dubbed the man and his accomplices ‘scam artists’ who went as far as asking her for an extra few hundred dollars two years into the order.
“Do not use these scam artists. I order a gravestone for my sister in 2013, two years later they tell me that the memorial park would not accept the stone and I need to have a grave marker instead,” Debi E. of Philadelphia wrote on Yelp, noting she still has nothing.
“They are scum.”
Debi notes she used them with no problem in 1996.
The Office of the Pennsylvania Attorney General and Delaware County District Attorney did not immediately available for comment when asked by Your Content.
“I discovered a sweet older woman who is struggling financially and was targeted by a scam artist,” Republican candidate for Delaware County Council Mark Carroll told Your Content.
“She paid for a headstone in honor of her husband and brother who had passed. The scam artist took over $8K from this poor woman and for months hasn’t answered or returned her calls.
“My team & I offered to help her, which lead us to discover that this sick individual has a never-ending history of scamming grieving families,” Carroll continued. “I couldn’t sit back not help that woman and do my part in preventing future families from falling for this fraud.”
It is believed Stefan owns or operates the following fraudulent gravestone locations:
1000 Cedar Avenue
Darby, PA 19023
8501 N. Lansdowne Avenue
Upper Darby, PA 19082
3400 W. Cheltenham Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19150
Gallagher & Stefan Memorials
4150 Hulmeville Road
Bensalem, PA 19020
New Britain Granite & Bronze
470 W. Butler Avenue
New Britain, PA 18901
140 N. 9th Street
Quakertown, PA 18951
1275 Glenlivet Drive
Allentown, PA 18106
South Philadelphia Memorials
Two Penn Charter Plaza
Philadelphia, PA 19102
G.A. Kaeppler Memorials
150 N. Radnor Chester Road
Radnor, PA 19087
151 Matsonford Road
Gulph Mills, PA 19428
1060 First Avenue
King of Prussia, PA 19406
Jersey Shore Memorials
One Greentree Centre
Marlton, NJ 08053
600 West Germantown Pike
Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462
Two Bala Plaza
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
Additional Reporting by: Nik Hatziefstathiou
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