2 More Plead Guilty in Prearranged Funeral Scam

3 years 8 months 2 weeks ago July 03, 2013 Jul 3, 2013 Wednesday, July 03 2013 Wednesday, July 03, 2013 5:09:54 PM CDT in News
By: Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The owner of a now-defunct prearranged funerals company in suburban St. Louis has admitted his role in what prosecutors called a giant Ponzi scheme.

Sixty-seven-year-old James Douglas Cassity, of Clayton, pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court to fraud, money laundering and misappropriation of funds. His 46-year-old son, Brent Cassity, pleaded guilty earlier Wednesday.

Prosecutors said their company, National Prearranged Services Inc., sold prearranged funeral contracts from 1992 until 2008 for up to $10,000 each. But the company used the money instead for its own benefit and to pay for previous customers' funerals.

Investigators say the scheme bilked customers of as much as $600 million.

Another employee pleaded guilty in June. Three others await trial.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

A son of the owner of a prearranged funerals company that prosecutors say was actually a giant Ponzi scheme pleaded guilty to federal fraud and other charges Wednesday.

Brent Douglas Cassity, 46, could face up to five years in prison when he's sentenced Nov. 7 for mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. He's the second former employee of now-defunct National Prearranged Services Inc. to plead guilty in the case, joining 69-year-old Sharon Nekol Province, of Ballwin, who admitted her role last month and is due to be sentenced the same day as Cassity.

Cassity's plea agreement is sealed, so it wasn't clear if he had agreed to testify against others implicated in the case. His father, James Douglas Cassity, and three other defendants have pleaded not guilty and are scheduled to stand trial starting Aug. 5.

According to prosecutors, the company sold policies in several states from 1992 until 2008 under which customers typically paid a single sum of up to $10,000 to cover the cost of future funeral services and related expenses.

The law required the company to keep the customers' money in a secure trust or insurance policy. Federal prosecutors say money from as many as 150,000 customers was used to enrich the company's officers and others, and that new business provided the money needed to pay for funerals that previous customers had paid for in advance.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported last month that defendants in the case had been offered plea deals requiring 5-10 years in prison in exchange for guilty pleas. Without the deals, they risk life sentences if convicted.

In explaining the plea deal effort, U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan cited the high cost of trials that could last three months.

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - President Donald Trump's proposed budget could cut billions from the federally funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program... More >>
35 minutes ago March 24, 2017 Mar 24, 2017 Friday, March 24 2017 Friday, March 24, 2017 2:31:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Lincoln University students have mixed reactions over president Kevin Rome moving to Fisk University in Nashville. ... More >>
53 minutes ago March 24, 2017 Mar 24, 2017 Friday, March 24 2017 Friday, March 24, 2017 2:13:00 PM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Police say a man apparently had his mouth glued shut after coming under attack from several... More >>
2 hours ago March 24, 2017 Mar 24, 2017 Friday, March 24 2017 Friday, March 24, 2017 1:00:00 PM CDT in News
FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — A Missouri man charged in the 1996 slaying of a 15-year-old Maryland girl will remain behind... More >>
2 hours ago March 24, 2017 Mar 24, 2017 Friday, March 24 2017 Friday, March 24, 2017 12:14:42 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Lincoln University and Jefferson City Parks and Recreation announced the name for its new wellness and recreation... More >>
3 hours ago March 24, 2017 Mar 24, 2017 Friday, March 24 2017 Friday, March 24, 2017 11:56:00 AM CDT in News
FORISTELL (AP) — Authorities said two New York women who were arrested in eastern Missouri after jumping out a second-story... More >>
4 hours ago March 24, 2017 Mar 24, 2017 Friday, March 24 2017 Friday, March 24, 2017 11:00:11 AM CDT in News
SEDALIA - A fatal car crash left one woman dead and a toddler injured Thursday night, according to a Missouri... More >>
5 hours ago March 24, 2017 Mar 24, 2017 Friday, March 24 2017 Friday, March 24, 2017 9:22:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Police arrested a man following an armed robbery at Pickleman's Deli on Old 63 early Friday. Officers... More >>
6 hours ago March 24, 2017 Mar 24, 2017 Friday, March 24 2017 Friday, March 24, 2017 8:52:00 AM CDT in News
CLAYTON (AP) — A suburban St. Louis mother has been convicted of poisoning her son with prescription medications and keeping... More >>
6 hours ago March 24, 2017 Mar 24, 2017 Friday, March 24 2017 Friday, March 24, 2017 8:21:50 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Former U.S. Marine Eric Olson is used to brotherhood in service. Now he has formed a different kind... More >>
7 hours ago March 24, 2017 Mar 24, 2017 Friday, March 24 2017 Friday, March 24, 2017 7:09:34 AM CDT in Top Stories
FLORISSANT (AP) — Authorities are looking for a driver who struck and killed a pedestrian before fleeing in St. Louis... More >>
8 hours ago March 24, 2017 Mar 24, 2017 Friday, March 24 2017 Friday, March 24, 2017 6:50:00 AM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A former southwestern Missouri high school teacher has admitted in federal court that he downloaded child pornography... More >>
8 hours ago March 24, 2017 Mar 24, 2017 Friday, March 24 2017 Friday, March 24, 2017 6:46:09 AM CDT in News
CENTERVIEW (AP) — Authorities say a riot inside a western Missouri jail pod has been squelched. The... More >>
9 hours ago March 24, 2017 Mar 24, 2017 Friday, March 24 2017 Friday, March 24, 2017 5:40:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - In honor of Women's History Month, the Harry S. Truman Memorial Verterans' Hospital is recognizing the achievements of... More >>
11 hours ago March 24, 2017 Mar 24, 2017 Friday, March 24 2017 Friday, March 24, 2017 3:21:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Chamber of Commerce hosted a forum for the Columbia Public School's school board and Boone Hospital... More >>
19 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 7:54:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is backing a contested health care overhaul proposed in the U.S. House.... More >>
20 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 6:23:27 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - As students and families are preparing to go on spring break trips, the Columbia/Boone County Public Health and... More >>
21 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 5:52:00 PM CDT in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - A confrontation between neighbors ended with a man shooting two dogs, the Camden County Sheriff's Office said.... More >>
21 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 5:44:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 70°
3pm 69°
4pm 67°
5pm 66°
6pm 65°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

3:00p
Dr. Phil
4:00p
Jeopardy!
4:30p
Jeopardy!
3:00p
The Robert Irvine Show
4:00p
Cops Reloaded
4:30p
The Cleveland Show

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Grimm
8:00p
Dateline NBC
9:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
The Originals
8:00p
Reign
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld