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Six people who operated or worked for a St. Louis County-based prearranged funeral company are going to prison for terms ranging from 18 months to 10 years for defrauding customers.
The owner of National Prearranged Services, James "Doug" Cassity and his son, Brent Cassity avoided possible life terms by striking plea deals over the summer.
Federal prosecutors say the defendants sentenced Thursday operated a business that was nothing more than an elaborate Ponzi scheme and bilked more than 97,000 customers out of nearly a half-billion dollars.
All six defendants were ordered to turn themselves in after the holidays.
The final member of a massive prearranged funeral scam has been convicted for his role in the fraud.
David Wulf was found guilty of 18 counts of various types of fraud. Prosecutors say Wulf and other executives at National Prearranged Services hatched a $600 million dollar scheme to defraud customers.
The remaining five defendants, including heads of the company Doug and Brent Cassity, all pleaded guilty. All six convicts will be sentenced in November.
Another executive at a Clayton-based company that sold prearranged funeral services admitted to being a part of a massive fraud scheme.
Randall Sutton was the ex-president of National Prearranged Services and one of six top officials who was named in a $600 million criminal case. Sutton pleaded guilty to four felony charges and faces up to 7 years in prison when he is sentenced in November.
Sutton is the fourth defendant in the case to plead guilty and the last two defendants are slated to appear in court August 5.