2 More Plead Guilty in Prearranged Funeral Scam

4 years 9 months 2 weeks ago Wednesday, July 03 2013 Jul 3, 2013 Wednesday, July 03, 2013 5:09:54 PM CDT July 03, 2013 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
JEFFERSON CITY - A traffic safety education program, First Impact, taught parents the ins and outs of putting their teen... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 8:03:00 PM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Judge Rex Burlison, 22nd Judicial Circuit (St. Louis City), ruled Thursday not to dismiss the criminal case... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 8:01:00 PM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
LAKE OZARK - An Osage School teacher is being charged with 1st degree statutory sodomy and a second charge of... More >>
14 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 5:23:00 PM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) is cutting 17 professors and administrators. University officials said... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 3:03:20 PM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- A St. Louis circuit court judge ruled against the dismissal of Greitens' court case Thursday. Regular session continued... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 3:02:00 PM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Fire Department used the former Macy's building off of Stadium Blvd. on Thursday to train its... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 1:58:00 PM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Police said a man was stabbed in the neck in the 2900 block of Range Line Street Thursday... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 1:37:00 PM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
FORDLAND (AP) — Officials said a maintenance worker died when a Missouri television station tower collapsed and he became trapped... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 12:31:00 PM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
CLINTON (AP) — A Missouri woman accused of dealing drugs from a home where an ex-convict fatally shot one police... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 12:01:48 PM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
MONTGOMERY COUNTY - Deputies identified a man whose body was found tangled in fishing lines on Wednesday as Timothy G.... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 11:47:00 AM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Sen. Maria Chappelle Nadal, D-St. Louis, said the unknown substance on envelopes sent to her on Thursday... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 11:41:00 AM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri Senate panel has declined to advance a proposed tax overhaul following estimates that it... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 11:09:33 AM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A 65-year-old man who was a major heroin dealer in the Kansas City area has... More >>
21 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 10:45:26 AM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS - A judge announced Thursday he will not dismiss the criminal invasion of privacy case against Gov. Eric... More >>
21 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 10:02:00 AM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Prosecutors said a man shot by suburban Kansas City police in January has died, but... More >>
22 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 9:22:59 AM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The third annual Unbound Book Festival kicks off tonight, facing questions over its leadership's commitment to diversity and... More >>
22 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 8:49:00 AM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
LAKE OZARK - Firefighters are looking into the cause of a fire that killed four children left home alone early... More >>
23 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 8:16:00 AM CDT April 19, 2018 in Top Stories
TIPTON – Residents gathered at the Tipton Country Club to voice their concerns about the potential building of a concentrated... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 7:47:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 37°
8am 39°
9am 45°
10am 50°
11am 53°