Former Haverhill City Councilor Robert H. Scatamacchia, convicted last July of theft related to his former funeral business, has returned to the community after being released on parole.
Scatamacchia was released from the Essex County Sheriff’s Department’s Pre-release and Re-entry Center, Lawrence, a week ago Wednesday. He was serving a one-year prison sentence. His release was confirmed Friday by Essex County Sheriff Kevin F. Coppinger. Scatamacchia was eligible for parole as of mid-January, he said.
Barbara Maher, spokeswoman for the Essex County Sheriff’s Department previously told WHAV there is a formula used in determining early release. “They are eligible for good time, depending on their needs,” Maher told WHAV. While the formula is different for each prisoner, she said, sentences may be reduced for good conduct up to 10 days per month.
Scatamacchia was sentenced last July 19 by Judge Mary K. Ames to two and a half years in the state house of correction, with one year to be served and the balance suspended with probation for five years. Scatamacchia will also have to make restitution of $144,000 to the victims—both families who had pre-paid for funerals and his former business partners.
According to First Assistant District Attorney John T. Dawley, Scatamacchia took as much as $244,000 in funds from funeral “pre-need contracts,” with as many as 22 people between July, 2010 and 2014, after the former Scatamacchia Funeral Home merged with Paul C. Rogers Funeral Home, 334 Main St. The money, he said, was “never placed in trust” but taken from a bank account named under “Scatamacchia Funeral Home” while that business was no longer in operation. He added Scatamacchia used an office typewriter to “make entries in a passbook” which was not credited by a bank. “Clients paid…for pre-paid services and there was no record of the money anywhere,” Dawley said.
“It’s a terribly embarrassing thing to go through. I’m so sorry that it ever happened. And I don’t know what else to say other than, I hope that they can forgive me,” Scatamacchia told Ames before sentencing.