Faria murder case witness says lawyers told her how to hide money

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) - Pam Hupp says her lawyers told her how to hide money being sought in civil suit.

Hupp says Betsy Faria's daughters may never get their mom's life insurance proceeds, no matter what a judge decides. Hupp got the proceeds of Betsy's $150,000 life insurance policy. The beneficiary was changed to Hupp just four days before Betsy’s murder.

Hupp once told police that her lawyers told her how to hide the money.

Fox 2 News has been confronted with more questions about what Betsy Faria wanted in the days before she was killed. The one person who says she has all the answers—Hupp—seems to give a different version every time she talks.

Pam Hupp drove Betsy Faria home the night of the murder. Faria was found stabbed to death December 27, 2011. The next day, Hupp told Major Case Squad investigators, “She goes, ‘Well, I want to change my beneficiary to you...I want my kids to have it. I don’t want Russ to have it.”

In 2013, Russ Faria went to prison for the murder and Hupp received the insurance proceeds. In 2014, Hupp told lawyers Betsy would want her to keep it.

“If Betsy thought she didn’t have anything else in the world, she would want me to have whatever she had,” Hupp said in a civil deposition.

Lawyers for Betsy’s daughters found that statement odd, especially since Hupp later said, “I was rich in her eyes. She’d always tell me I was rich. She wished she was rich like me. I wasn’t rich.”

The daughters' civil attorney asked Hupp to explain her statements during a civil trial last month.

“At the end of her life, she was somebody that didn't have much in the way of financial resources; is that fair to say?” attorney Chris Roberts said.

Hupp responded, “I wouldn’t say that.”

But Roberts reminded Hupp what she said at the first criminal trial regarding Betsy and money.

On the stand, during the 2013 criminal trial, Hupp had said, “(Betsy) had gone for food stamps two weeks before...”

During the same line of questioning, Hupp was asked by the prosecutor why Betsy would sign over her life insurance policy to Hupp.

“So this was an easy way for her to keep the money from going to the defendant and her purpose was to try to assure that it got to her girls?” the prosecutor asked.

“That's correct,” Hupp said.

Hupp changed her story as a Lincoln County investigator re-interviewed her for Russ Faria's retrial. It happened during a police interview, when Captain Mike Merkel said this about Hupp fighting Betsy’s daughters’ civil suit: “I got to give you a lot of credit for that, probably not that that means anything to you, but that's, it's hard to draw that line and say I've got all this emotion tied up, but then I've got this business to take care of... More power to you. It all is emotional business.”

“People do what they do because it's emotional...and money is – makes people do crazy, crazy things,” Hupp said.

Hupp then told detectives the daughters were not going to get the money, no matter what happened in civil court.

“We got it all out and he showed me how to hide it and he's shown me how to hide everything because my lawyers said you can get the order, whatever, they can win that way, but collections is a whole different thing,” Hupp said.

Captain Merkel answered, “Uh-huh; oh yeah, we see that all the time.”

“So there won't be any collections,” Hupp said.

When asked about that recently in civil court, Hupp said she wasn’t serious.

“We were joking around,” she said.

In this ongoing civil trial over Betsy's life insurance proceeds, Hupp also claimed she originally told police Betsy wanted her life insurance proceeds to "take care of" her daughters and that "take care of" could mean many different things.