It is not easy being in the business of caring for the deceased. The historic Abbey Cemetery is facing fresh allegations of not properly caring for many Compton residents loved ones despite the owners offering low prices to accomodate residents who may not have the financial means to bury their family.
2UrbanGirls contacted owner Oscar Olivos after the local news ran a story on complaints that he is not properly maintaining his facility. We inquired on operating costs to keep his doors open. He was very forthcoming with his prices and what it entails for burial. We also asked about his water rates.
We charge $1900 for burial when you are in a plot that holds up to (6) persons and up to $6500 for a single plot. Our water bills fluctuate just like the residents. It can range from $1200 up to $2000 per month.
Data shows that the average income of a Compton resident is approx. $14,000 per year, and the median household income is $43,230. It is nearly impossible for a family to properly bury a loved one, especially when the loss is unexpected.
City Hall insiders share with 2UrbanGirls that the city council is looking at ways to “go after” the Abbey Cemetery citing the offering of “community” plots but are unclear if they are illegal.
Mr. Olivos isn’t the only Compton business owner to face financial difficulties from running a business that caters to those with little to no income.
Former Compton District 2 Councilwoman Lille Dobson, whose district included the Abbey Cemetery, is also in the business of caring for the deceased.
Dobson is listed as co-owner of Solomon’s Mortuary, along with Willie Solomon, Sr., located in South Los Angeles. Back in 2016, Solomon’s was on the receiving end of a filing from the Department of Consumer Affairs for the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau of the State of California.
It was alleged that Solomon’s was not properly handling money paid by families for “pre-need” services and that because Solomon’s was facing “financial hardship” they were having trouble issuing refunds. Complaints were lodged that Dobson received money that she in turn claimed to have never received.
In September 2016, the office of then Attorney General Kamala Harris ordered Solomon’s mortuary to pay nearly $8,000 in fines and revoked both the Funeral Establishment and Funeral Director licenses of Willie Solomon Sr. which was stayed, for a period of three year, as long as he followed the law.
According to the State of California, the entity known as Solomon’s Mortuary Inc. has failed to pay their taxes and their corporation is suspended, yet they are still open for business and accepting payments.
Ms. Dobson is listed as the corporations secretary/treasurer, yet, she is not fulfilling her fiduciary duties, in possible violation of the states conditions of the corporations revocation hearing.
It would appear that despite the rising costs of doing business, many are opting to keep prices below market value for the sake of accommodating those with little to no financial means of paying full price, which in turn causes community uproar and mistrust.
How should cemetery’s and funeral homes price their services, to account for inflation and increased operating costs, to maintain and keep up their property?