2 More Plead Guilty in Prearranged Funeral Scam

5 years 11 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 - The main runway at the Jefferson City Memorial Airport is ready for planes again, according to Public... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, June 19 2019 Jun 19, 2019 Wednesday, June 19, 2019 6:01:00 PM CDT June 19, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Police are searching for two men authorities said ran from a near head-on crash and traffic stop... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, June 19 2019 Jun 19, 2019 Wednesday, June 19, 2019 5:42:00 PM CDT June 19, 2019 in News
LAURIE - Cleanup is underway at the Westlake Aquatic Center after a 93-year-old woman crashed through the building and into... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, June 19 2019 Jun 19, 2019 Wednesday, June 19, 2019 5:05:00 PM CDT June 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - PedNet Coalition will host a community bike ride memorial service in honor of the late Darwin Hindman on... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, June 19 2019 Jun 19, 2019 Wednesday, June 19, 2019 4:44:00 PM CDT June 19, 2019 in News
FULTON - Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will lecture at Weminster College in the fall. Her presentation will... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, June 19 2019 Jun 19, 2019 Wednesday, June 19, 2019 3:11:00 PM CDT June 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Cooper's Landing is projected to partially reopen in time to celebrate July 4th. Flood clean up efforts are... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, June 19 2019 Jun 19, 2019 Wednesday, June 19, 2019 1:28:00 PM CDT June 19, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A suburban St. Louis man is accused of threatening to shoot and kill "every gay person"... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, June 19 2019 Jun 19, 2019 Wednesday, June 19, 2019 10:45:00 AM CDT June 19, 2019 in News
BENTON, Mo. (AP) — A southeast Missouri sheriff has fired a deputy who is running against him for sheriff next... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, June 19 2019 Jun 19, 2019 Wednesday, June 19, 2019 10:36:14 AM CDT June 19, 2019 in News
SEDALIA, Mo. (AP) — A 29-year-old Missouri man has been sentenced in the stabbing death of a woman in Sedalia.... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, June 19 2019 Jun 19, 2019 Wednesday, June 19, 2019 8:17:00 AM CDT June 19, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Authorities say a woman was trapped in a St. Louis jail stairwell for more than two... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, June 19 2019 Jun 19, 2019 Wednesday, June 19, 2019 8:04:46 AM CDT June 19, 2019 in News
BRUNSWICK - SEMA returned to Brunswick today to continue its training for flood damage assessment. KOMU spoke with multiple... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, June 18 2019 Jun 18, 2019 Tuesday, June 18, 2019 11:48:00 PM CDT June 18, 2019 in News
HOLTS SUMMIT - Chris Redel is the new Ward 2 Alderman for Holts Summit. The initial election took place... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, June 18 2019 Jun 18, 2019 Tuesday, June 18, 2019 11:26:00 PM CDT June 18, 2019 in News
MID-MISSOURI - One child, 11 months old, died in Calverton Park, near St. Louis, on June 2, 2019. The temperature... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, June 18 2019 Jun 18, 2019 Tuesday, June 18, 2019 10:07:00 PM CDT June 18, 2019 in Weather
CAMDENTON - The cause of a house fire is under investigation after crews battled flames in Camdenton Tuesday morning. ... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, June 18 2019 Jun 18, 2019 Tuesday, June 18, 2019 8:52:00 PM CDT June 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A cash reward has been increased for anyone with information on an injured three-month-old pit bull in St.... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, June 18 2019 Jun 18, 2019 Tuesday, June 18, 2019 7:13:00 PM CDT June 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A research summit on disaster relief and recovery comes at a "fortuitous time," according to one of the... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, June 18 2019 Jun 18, 2019 Tuesday, June 18, 2019 6:17:00 PM CDT June 18, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY - Police are searching for two people after discovering graffiti on the National World War I Museum and... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, June 18 2019 Jun 18, 2019 Tuesday, June 18, 2019 5:25:00 PM CDT June 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA – A major river crossing in Howard County opened Tuesday as flood waters receded. The Missouri Department of... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, June 18 2019 Jun 18, 2019 Tuesday, June 18, 2019 4:38:00 PM CDT June 18, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 76°
8pm 71°
9pm 70°
10pm 68°
11pm 67°