2 More Plead Guilty in Prearranged Funeral Scam

6 years 8 months 3 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
KOMU 8's Emily Spain sits down to talk with Marco Pantoja about the federal stimulus package signed Friday by President... More >>
4 days ago Thursday, March 26 2020 Mar 26, 2020 Thursday, March 26, 2020 10:14:00 PM CDT March 26, 2020 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - MU students will have the option to convert their A to F grades to satisfactory or unsatisfactory... More >>
4 days ago Thursday, March 26 2020 Mar 26, 2020 Thursday, March 26, 2020 6:53:00 PM CDT March 26, 2020 in News
ASHLAND – On the eve of the U.S. House vote for the $2 trillion stimulus package in response to COVID-19,... More >>
4 days ago Thursday, March 26 2020 Mar 26, 2020 Thursday, March 26, 2020 5:44:00 PM CDT March 26, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Sunny skies brought a Columbia artist to Shelter Gardens Thursday. Cindy Scott, a live event painter, relies... More >>
4 days ago Thursday, March 26 2020 Mar 26, 2020 Thursday, March 26, 2020 5:32:00 PM CDT March 26, 2020 in News
MISSOURI STATE CAPITOL - Associations representing Missouri nurses on the front line fighting against COVID-19 are asking Governor Mike Parson... More >>
4 days ago Thursday, March 26 2020 Mar 26, 2020 Thursday, March 26, 2020 4:51:00 PM CDT March 26, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - While students are learning at home because of COVID-19, the Missouri Department of Conservation is offering free nature-focused... More >>
4 days ago Thursday, March 26 2020 Mar 26, 2020 Thursday, March 26, 2020 2:37:00 PM CDT March 26, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - More than 42,000 Missourians filed for unemployment in the last week, according to new data released Thursday by... More >>
4 days ago Thursday, March 26 2020 Mar 26, 2020 Thursday, March 26, 2020 1:58:00 PM CDT March 26, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Medical students are now searching for ways they can assist with COVID-19, as preparations begin for a possible... More >>
4 days ago Thursday, March 26 2020 Mar 26, 2020 Thursday, March 26, 2020 1:20:00 PM CDT March 26, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- Heroes come in all shapes and sizes -- this one just happens to have four legs and a... More >>
4 days ago Thursday, March 26 2020 Mar 26, 2020 Thursday, March 26, 2020 11:34:00 AM CDT March 26, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri General Assembly still needs to pass a budget for next fiscal year and allocate... More >>
4 days ago Thursday, March 26 2020 Mar 26, 2020 Thursday, March 26, 2020 11:24:00 AM CDT March 26, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - As COVID-19 spreads, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about the impacts on the community. KOMU... More >>
4 days ago Thursday, March 26 2020 Mar 26, 2020 Thursday, March 26, 2020 9:57:00 AM CDT March 26, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Mun Choi was appointed interim chancellor of MU Wednesday. In an email to the university community, Board... More >>
4 days ago Thursday, March 26 2020 Mar 26, 2020 Thursday, March 26, 2020 9:45:00 AM CDT March 26, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- Go into most US emergency rooms, and you'll find staff wearing Crocs. Now their manufacturer has announced a... More >>
5 days ago Thursday, March 26 2020 Mar 26, 2020 Thursday, March 26, 2020 8:26:00 AM CDT March 26, 2020 in News
BELTON (AP) — The FBI said a man who was fatally injured by Missouri agents was the subject of a... More >>
5 days ago Wednesday, March 25 2020 Mar 25, 2020 Wednesday, March 25, 2020 7:35:00 PM CDT March 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - John Drage is a pastor at MU's The Rock Campus Church. In February 2019, he was diagnosed with... More >>
5 days ago Wednesday, March 25 2020 Mar 25, 2020 Wednesday, March 25, 2020 6:03:00 PM CDT March 25, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- Congressional lawmakers are putting the finishing touches on a $2 trillion stimulus bill to respond to the coronavirus... More >>
5 days ago Wednesday, March 25 2020 Mar 25, 2020 Wednesday, March 25, 2020 6:01:00 PM CDT March 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Stephens College announced on Wednesday it will remain closed for the rest of the spring semester because of... More >>
5 days ago Wednesday, March 25 2020 Mar 25, 2020 Wednesday, March 25, 2020 5:09:00 PM CDT March 25, 2020 in News
Warrenton - A Missouri man's video of him licking deodorants at a Walmart went viral. After the City of Warrenton... More >>
5 days ago Wednesday, March 25 2020 Mar 25, 2020 Wednesday, March 25, 2020 4:46:00 PM CDT March 25, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 51°
10am 53°
11am 56°
12pm 58°
1pm 61°