Jury awards $491M to victims from prepaid funeral civil lawsuit

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – A St. Louis federal court awarded $491 million in damages from a civil suit filed against a Clayton-based company selling prepaid funerals.

The suit filed back in 2009 after National Prearranged Services, Inc. defrauded customers across the country from money put aside for prearranged funerals.  Over 97,000 victims including local funeral homes and financial institutions lost money.  Chris Hayes profiled one of those homes in a Fox Files investigation.  Those responsible are in prison.  The suit accuses banks and trustees of being negligent by not uncovering the fraud.  One bank plans to appeal.   Some say this is far from over and the victims won’t even see that money.

"The money is going back to these guarantee associations,” said Post-Dispatch reporter Robert Patrick.  It's not like the money is going back into the pockets of the victims who pre-paid for these funerals because in theory, supposedly they are being made whole.

A funeral director who had lost millions and was profiled in a Fox Files investigation on this told FOX 2 she doesn’t plan to see a dime of that money.

Previous Coverage:

Regulators long warned about multi-million dollar fraud