Southeast MO funeral home accused of defrauding customers to pay nearly $400k
PERRY COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - A southeast Missouri funeral home accused of fraud has been ordered to pay nearly $400,000 in restitution, penalties and other fees.
The Perry County Circuit Court issued a default judgement on the Miller Family Funeral Home ordering Herbert Miller, Kathleen Miller and the funeral home to pay restitution of $238,255.88 back to 54 consumers, $54,000 in penalties and statutory costs and fees.
The Millers and Miller Family Funeral Home are also permanently enjoined from the funeral service business and from accepting payments before providing goods or services.
According to the Missouri Attorney General's Office, Herbert and Kathleen Miller entered into contracts with consumers to provide pre-need funeral services and accepted upfront payments for those services.
In 2016, the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors suspended Herbert Miller's license to act as a funeral director.
Despite being legally unable to provide funeral services, according to the Attorney General's Office, the Millers failed to return the money intended for funeral services and refused to provide consumers with information needed to access their funds.
The Attorney General's investigation revealed that the Millers failed to deposit or retain consumer funds in trust accounts or joint accounts as required by their contracts with consumers. Instead, they diverted the consumers' funds for personal use and concealed their actions.
In November 2017, Herbert Miller was sentenced to seven years behind bars on criminal stealing charges. He was convicted in 2015 of financial exploitation of the elderly and was put on probation for five years before new charges were announced and his probation was revoked.
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