2 More Plead Guilty in Prearranged Funeral Scam

2 years 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 - The Columbia Police Department announced Monday they identified a body found near the Highway 63 and I-70 interchange... More >>
1 hour ago February 08, 2016 Feb 8, 2016 Monday, February 08 2016 Monday, February 08, 2016 1:29:00 PM CST in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Middle schoolers beginning of the year math proficiency scores dropped for the second year in a row, according... More >>
1 hour ago February 08, 2016 Feb 8, 2016 Monday, February 08 2016 Monday, February 08, 2016 1:17:30 PM CST in Continuous News
COLUMBIA – High blood pressure, also known as HBP or hypertension, is a widely misunderstood medical condition. Some people think... More >>
4 hours ago February 08, 2016 Feb 8, 2016 Monday, February 08 2016 Monday, February 08, 2016 10:09:29 AM CST in Continuous News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police say a 24-year-old man who was struck and killed on Interstate 44 last... More >>
3 hours ago February 08, 2016 Feb 8, 2016 Monday, February 08 2016 Monday, February 08, 2016 11:24:34 AM CST in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Boone Hospital Nifong Medical Plaza opened its doors for the first time Monday in south Columbia. The... More >>
2 days ago February 05, 2016 Feb 5, 2016 Friday, February 05 2016 Friday, February 05, 2016 6:31:07 PM CST in Continuous News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Federal agents in St. Louis say security cameras helped lead to the arrest of a serial... More >>
7 hours ago February 08, 2016 Feb 8, 2016 Monday, February 08 2016 Monday, February 08, 2016 7:23:36 AM CST in Continuous News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Authorities are investigating a fatal shooting in southwest Missouri. Police said in a news release... More >>
7 hours ago February 08, 2016 Feb 8, 2016 Monday, February 08 2016 Monday, February 08, 2016 7:18:42 AM CST in Continuous News
KIRKWOOD (AP) — A Rock Hill police officer has been taken to a hospital after being struck by a vehicle.... More >>
7 hours ago February 08, 2016 Feb 8, 2016 Monday, February 08 2016 Monday, February 08, 2016 7:15:55 AM CST in Continuous News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A 29-year-old man accused in the January shooting death of another man in Kansas City has... More >>
9 hours ago February 08, 2016 Feb 8, 2016 Monday, February 08 2016 Monday, February 08, 2016 5:20:17 AM CST in Continuous News
FULTON - The Callaway County Sheriff's Office arrested a man early Sunday morning after actively seeking him for two warrants... More >>
19 hours ago February 07, 2016 Feb 7, 2016 Sunday, February 07 2016 Sunday, February 07, 2016 7:25:50 PM CST in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - Ranked 47th in the nation by Business Insider, Missouri’s seemingly stagnant economy has been a talking point... More >>
19 hours ago February 07, 2016 Feb 7, 2016 Sunday, February 07 2016 Sunday, February 07, 2016 7:16:13 PM CST in Continuous News
KIRKWOOD (AP) — A St. Louis area police officer has been hospitalized after being hit by a car. Rock... More >>
21 hours ago February 07, 2016 Feb 7, 2016 Sunday, February 07 2016 Sunday, February 07, 2016 5:41:49 PM CST in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Grocery stores see an increase in customers during Super Bowl weekend. The National Retail Federation reports total customer... More >>
22 hours ago February 07, 2016 Feb 7, 2016 Sunday, February 07 2016 Sunday, February 07, 2016 4:51:48 PM CST in Continuous News
RAYTOWN (AP) — An early morning fire in a Kansas City area apartment has killed a child and injured a... More >>
1 day ago February 07, 2016 Feb 7, 2016 Sunday, February 07 2016 Sunday, February 07, 2016 3:01:02 PM CST in Continuous News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The new leader of the Missouri State NAACP says he plans to build a younger, more... More >>
1 day ago February 07, 2016 Feb 7, 2016 Sunday, February 07 2016 Sunday, February 07, 2016 2:47:03 PM CST in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Jefferson City man has b een placed on unsupervised probation after he pleaded guilty to... More >>
1 day ago February 07, 2016 Feb 7, 2016 Sunday, February 07 2016 Sunday, February 07, 2016 1:37:31 PM CST in Continuous News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A second-floor porch in St. Louis collapsed, injuring five people, two seriously. Fire Department Capt.... More >>
1 day ago February 07, 2016 Feb 7, 2016 Sunday, February 07 2016 Sunday, February 07, 2016 1:31:14 PM CST in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri state Rep. Genise Montecillo is talking about her suicide attempt in hopes of helping others... More >>
1 day ago February 07, 2016 Feb 7, 2016 Sunday, February 07 2016 Sunday, February 07, 2016 1:22:48 PM CST in Continuous News
Interactive Radar Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 26°
4pm 26°
5pm 25°
6pm 25°
7pm 27°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

2:00 pm
The Meredith Vieira Show
3:00 pm
The Dr. Oz Show
4:00 pm
Dr. Phil
2:30 pm
Rules of Engagement
3:00 pm
The Bill Cunningham Show
4:00 pm
King of the Hill

Tonight's Schedule

7:00 pm
Superstore
7:30 pm
Telenovela
8:00 pm
The Biggest Loser
7:00 pm
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
8:00 pm
Jane the Virgin
9:00 pm
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30 pm
Seinfeld