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Fmr. Cop Files Official Complaint Against Activist, Convicted Conman and Funeral Home

Left to Right: Vernado Malone, Justice for Michiana — Donald Alford, Alford’s Mortuary

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Former Commander of the St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit, Tim Corbett, filed official paperwork late last week with the Indiana Attorney General’s Office against a federally convicted conman turned city-funded activist and a local funeral home after a nearly year long investigation into potential crimes being committed by both.

A REAL News Michiana investigation from March of this year, uncovered a scheme between the founder of the non-profit Justice for Michiana, Vernado Malone, and Alford’s Mortuary, in which Malone was given access to bodies to take graphic nude photos of the deceased.

Corbett, now a private investigator, had been looking into the allegations since late 2020. He’s compiled more than 400 pages of witness testimony and evidence, all of which has now gone directly to the desk of the Indiana Attorney General.

THE SCAM

Malone, through Justice for Michiana, claimed to be helping families of the deceased with funeral costs and arrangements.

RNM spoke to dozens of witnesses who saw the nude pictures of the dead bodies on Malone’s phone. One witness says Malone showed her the photos while she working at the St. Joseph County Voter Registration Office. Malone was visiting that office to speak with a partner of his, Voter Registration employee, Aisha Avance. That witness tells RNM, Malone even gave graphic commentary about the genitals of one deceased man.

“It was a full nude picture, shot from his feet up. He was laying on top of a sheet. He had been shot in the head.” Former Voter Registration employee, Trisha Carrico said.

“He has the gift of gab.” Donald Alford, of Alford’s Mortuary, told RNM earlier this year. “I probably didn’t supervise him as much as I should have.”

Alford said Malone had been coming to his facility with his 501(c)3 documentation and “signed releases” from families to take pictures. Alford said he has documentation of the charity status, but did not make copies of the releases Malone claims to have.

Those documents included names, date of births and social security numbers.

CRIMINAL HISTORY

Federal court records show Malone has a criminal record spanning two decades.

In 1999, Malone was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for credit card fraud. He was ordered to pay more than $17,000 in restitution.

In 2005, Malone was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison for Conspiracy to Defraud the United States and Aiding and Abetting Forfeiture Allegation. He was ordered to pay $120,000 in restitution.

In 2015, Malone was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison for Mail Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft. He was ordered to pay more than $50,000 in restitution.

There are also several state charges and convictions. Malone petitioned the court to expunge those records in February of this year.

Despite his extensive criminal record, the City of South Bend gave Malone’s organization, Justice for Michiana, a $7,000 grant to help in the fight against violent crime.

Read more about the grant and RNM’s investigation into Malone here.

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