Updated:PENN HILLS, Pa. —
For months, Channel 11’s Katherine Amenta has been following the story of a Penn Hills business owner accused of scamming dozens of customers.
On Friday, more than two dozen of those customers attended Curt Eakman’s preliminary hearing.
Eakman, the owner of Penn Hills Monuments, is accused of charging his clients for headstones but never supplying them.
“I had to come. This has been going on too long, and he’s been getting away with too much,” Jana Woodruff said.
Amenta, who attended Friday’s hearing, said Eakman sat emotionless as almost 30 customers and family members walked past him.
“I want my money or my monument,” one person said.
According to the criminal complaint, Eakman is accused of using $38,000 from 59 customers for his personal use.
Eakman’s public defender suggested other people had access to that account and spent the money.
The defense also argued this isn’t a criminal case and should be dismissed. She called her client a bad businessman and said it’s a civil matter.
The judge disagreed and moved the charges against Eakman to trial. A date has not been set.
Eakman did not comment after the hearing as Amenta peppered him with questions.