Hawthorne headstone dealer charged with fraud

A Hawthorne headstone business owner was arrested this week among accusations he defrauded at least 18 elderly people.

Pasquale Fasolino, owner of Fasolino Monuments across from the Gate of Heaven Cemetery on West Stevens Avenue, was charged with felony scheming to defraud following his arrest Thursday. Fasolino Monuments has operated since 1941, but has been sued on several occasions during the past five years, Mount Pleasant Police Chief Louis Alagno said.

"He simply took the money from the customer and never provided the stone," Alagno said.

John Kraus, an 86-year-old World War II veteran from Yonkers, said Fasolino sold him a monument for him and his ailing 91-year-old wife, and never delivered on his word. Kraus said he's out $2,300 and hasn't received restitution despite a civil court award.

"He's stealing from the dead; I'm one foot in the grave," said Kraus, who spends much of his time in the hospital for treatment of his emphysema. "He's worse than a common thief."

Fasolino posted bail and is scheduled to appear in court on August 23.

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