Former Boston Funeral Director Held On $50K Bail

A former Boston funeral director charged with improperly storing bodies and stealing thousands of dollars in funeral pre-payments has been ordered held on $50,000 bail.

Joseph O'Donnell pleaded not guilty in Suffolk Superior Court on Monday.

The 56-year-old O'Donnell is charged with stealing nearly $150,000 from clients and keeping the remains of 12 people at a storage facility where they were found in July. He faces a 278-count indictment including multiple counts of larceny, forgery, embezzlement and improperly disposing of human remains.

O'Donnell's attorney said he does not acknowledge wrongdoing, but would like to be out of jail so he could begin repaying former clients. He has been in custody since he pleaded not guilty in April to stealing $12,000 in funeral prepayments.

Prosecutors said O'Donnell's license expired in 2009 and he continued doing business until 2013.

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