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Distraught Families Outraged By Alleged Fraud By Custom Rosary Maker

Michelle Hintzsche Has Some Explaining To Do, But Is Nowhere To Be Found
Custom rosary fraud

A dozen families say Michelle Hintzsche never produced the custom rosaries she advertised after being paid. (Photo: CBS 2)

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HAVERSTRAW, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Grieving families say they’ve been dealt another blow — by a person trusted to make keepsakes of their lost loved ones.

As CBS 2′s Tony Aiello reported Monday, the custom rosaries were promised but never delivered.

Fading roses were pressed behind glass, flowers from the coffins of William and Marie McShane, an Oceanside couple who died seven years apart.

The anniversary of Marie’s death is Tuesday, but in addition to sadness, Eileen McShane is one of at least a dozen customers feeling preyed on by custom rosary maker Michelle Hintzsche.

“Now I’m really angry because I was really hoping to have this keepsake for my family by the anniversary,” Eileen McShane said.

Hintzsche’s website sells rosaries with beads fashioned from flowers that customers send in.

“We decided we would do that with my mom’s flowers, something to hold on to, say the rosary with it. It’s pretty, it’s a pretty keepsake. It’s very pretty,” Eileen McShane said.

So she ordered 18 bead sets for family and friends. She said Hintzsche cashed her check for almost $500 and then cut off contact.

“Tons of e-mails back to her thinking that something would happen,” Eileen said.

That’s when she found a website filled with complaints about the rosary maker and learned police in Rockland County were building a case against her.

Hintzsche was arrested last week and charged with scheme to defraud. Aiello stopped by her house Monday and found a note on the door, which said: “Michelle has pled not guilty, has hired a lawyer, and looks forward to having her day in court where she can tell her side….”

“What makes me really angry is that on her website she says ‘oh we’re Catholics.’ She’s giving Catholics a bad name! I’m sorry, she shouldn’t have done that!” Eileen said.

Police continue to investigate a case that could have Hintzsche doing penance … in jail.

In this case, the Better Business Bureau has received dozens of complaints about the rosary maker.

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