Latest "Funeral Fraud" Posts

Funeral Ethics: Taking Those First Steps on the Slippery Slope

Years of dedicated service can quickly vanish when unethical choices come to light. To be clear, most people don’t wake up one day saying, “I think I’m going to make choices today that will tarnish or eliminate my career and all that I’ve worked for.” The truth is – for most folks – that first steps on the slippery slope of unethical behavior begins with one simple – seemingly insignificant – step. Once started though the consequences can be disastrous. Just ask Larry Foster Stegall, former executive director of the North Carolina Funeral Directors Association.

First Steps on the Slipper SlopeAccording to a report in the Raleigh News and Observer on February 18, 2016, Larry Foster Stegall, age 74 of Wake Forest, NC was charged with one felony count of obtaining property by false pretenses. The allegation in the charge is that between April 1, 2009, and July 31, 2014, Stegall was improperly paid for travel.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Funeral Fraud, Funeral News and tagged , , , , , ,

Funeral Ethics: Fraud Alleged at Gatens-Harding Funeral Home

There are bad apples in every profession including people who for years were upstanding members of their community.  Most people who make unethical choices don’t wake up one day and decide they will violate – in this case – funeral ethics.  However, this case is an example funeral ethics gone way bad.

Funeral EthicsThe story begins as follows:

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed a complaint against Gatens-Harding Funeral Home in Poca, West Virginia.  The complaint includes the funeral home’s owners, Chad and Billie Harding, alleging a violation of the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act and the state’s Preneed Funeral Contracts Act.  According to the complaint alleges those involved misappropriated money from consumers who were trying to prepay their funeral costs.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Business and Personal Ethics, Fraud Pure and Simple, Funeral Fraud, Funeral News and tagged , , , , , ,

National Prearranged Services Fraud = Lengthy Prison Sentences

Every choice has a consequence!  And especially in funeral service, when our customers can be highly vulnerable, it is important if not critical to be cautious about the choices made.  That said, lengthy prison sentences were recently handed down in what is one of the largest frauds in Missouri and certainly one of the largest in the funeral services industry.

National PrearrangedSentenced on more than 40 counts of fraud, money laundering, and related crimes, defendants, acting through National Prearranged Services, Inc. received a total of 36 years’ and one month’s incarceration.  These criminals defrauded more than 97,000 customers in more than 16 states, hundreds of funeral homes, and multiple financial institutions, causing more than $450 million in losses.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in fraud, Fraud Pure and Simple, Funeral Fraud, Funeral News and tagged , , , , , , , , ,