MIDDLE VILLAGE, Queens — The Lutheran All Faiths Cemetery in Queens, where President Trump’s parents, grandparents and brother are buried, has fallen victim to grave robbers.
Those robbers are former executives and board members who allegedly stole large amounts of money from the nonprofit cemetery in Middle Village, according to a 34-page lawsuit filed by New York State Attorney General Letitia James.
The lawsuit comes five years after PIX11's Arnold Diaz first pointed the finger of shame at All Faith President Daniel Austin Jr. and his father, and former cemetery president Daniel Austin Sr. for claiming there was not enough money for upkeep.
As we reported, the NYS Cemetery Board told us there was $1 million in the general operating budget and $2.5 million for perpetual care.
According the just-filed lawsuit, an audit of the cemetery’s financial records show Austin Sr., a former NYPD Detective, allegedly received a “retirement” payment of $900,000 in 2014 but never retired.
He continued working as Chairman of the Board, allegedly receiving another $1 million in salary before he resigned without admitting guilt after the AG’s findings. Daniel Austin Jr allegedly received $63,000 in unauthorized bonuses in the past four years before he too resigned with a full pension.
One board member took $400,000 in cemetery funds for an illegal loan for his daughters. Another board member took $500,000 for a loan for his brother. Many other outrageous uses of cemetery funds are outlined in the AG’s report.
Attorney General James is now seeking full restitution and the resignation of the three remaining board members.
PIX11 first reported on the horrible condition of many of the graves. They are toppled, cracked, lying face down, buried below ground. The roads are full of potholes and the stairs are crumbling.
Some sections are well kept, including the one in which Trump’s family is buried. But other areas appear to have never been maintained. The theft of those cemetery funds helps to explain how All Faiths fell into such disrepair in recent years.