NPS Preneed Scandal UPDATED 7-5-2013

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UPDATE 7-5-2013

NPS Executives Plead Guilty In $600 Million Ponzi Scheme

Read the full article at Riverfront Times

 

UPDATE 6-2013—Jim Cassity, Brent Cassity, and others to go on trial for NPS Preneed Ponzi Scheme

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports:

One of six people accused of bilking customers out of as much as $600 million in a pre-arranged funeral scam admitted her role on Monday, as the rest of the defendants prepare to go to trial.

Sharon Nekol Province, 69, of Ballwin, pleaded guilty in federal court here to six counts of the 50-count indictment.

....

They include James Douglas Cassity, of Clayton, who bought the company in 1979; his son, Brent Cassity, also of Clayton, who helped run the companies; Randall K. Sutton, of Chesterfield; Howard A. Wittner, of Chesterfield; and David R. Wulf, of St. Louis County.

They face additional charges of embezzlement, money laundering and conspiracy, all allegedly committed through a lengthy series of money transfers. The network of trusts and businesses named in the indictment include National Prearranged Services, Lincoln Memorial Life Insurance Co., Memorial Services Life Insurance Co. and Forever Enterprises, former owner of funeral homes in the St. Louis area.

 

UPDDATE 7/16/2010Click here for an update on the NPS court battle.

UPDATE 6/20/8 - NPS Scandal now involves 19 states. The following article from the Kansas City Star's Rick Alm is the best roundup of the NPS meltdown and what it means for consumers. Special thanks to the KC Star for permission to reprint the article.

 

Seller of prepaid funeral plans experiences financial meltdown

By RICK ALM
The Kansas City Star

Back in 1992, Missouri regulators started asking tough financial questions about National Prearranged Services Inc., a St. Louis seller of prepaid funeral plans.

But they quit asking in 2000 after forcing the company in court to tighten its financial practices.

Now, the company is in receivership, its financial reserves apparently short of covering the costs of the funeral packages it has sold. The financial meltdown has put hundreds of funeral homes in at least 19 states at risk to be dragged down with it.

Many in Missouri’s funeral industry are asking how state officials let the company run into financial problems again.

One is Marty Meyers, who bought and renamed Meyers Funeral Chapel in Blue Springs in January last year. The sale included around 700 National Prearranged contracts promising to deliver funeral services that he estimates will cost $4.6 million.

Meyers has to honor those contracts when the time comes. One funeral Meyers provided in May was contracted for in 1982 for around $2,500, but it looks as if the contract’s face value of $2,500 is all he will get for services that in 2008 cost nearly $10,000.

Meyers said most funeral homes can’t sustain losses like that for long, and he figures he is on the hook for a couple of National Prearranged funerals every month for years to come.

“That’s the difference in making it and not making it,” he said. “We’re going to honor contracts as long as we are financially able.”

Jack Spooner, a St. Louis lawyer for the family that owns the company, defends National Prearranged and its practices. He said money was spent properly and insists the company never missed paying for a funeral — until Texas regulators seized the company this spring and halted new sales activity.

Texas regulators started asking questions last year after detecting an unusually high number of questionable insurance policy transactions involving National Prearranged and its sister firms, Lincoln Memorial Life Insurance Co. and Memorial Service Life Insurance Co., which are based in Austin.

One question led to another, and the meltdown was underway.

“As discussions went on they discovered more and more issues,” said Margaret Jonon, financial counsel for the Texas Department of Insurance.

The Texas agency placed all three companies under “confidential supervision” in October and then seized control and appointed a receiver to operate them in April. The agency declared the firms were “inextricably intertwined” and so troubled that their continued operation would be “hazardous to the public.”

In light of National Prearranged’s legal problems with Missouri regulators throughout the ’90s, “I just don’t understand why someone was not watching them,” said Duke Radovich, chief executive of the Kansas City-based Charter Funerals group, which did not do business with National Prearranged.

Missouri officials are pointing fingers at one another, and the dispute has all the markings of a new battle in the longstanding political war between Republican Gov. Matt Blunt and Democratic Attorney General Jay Nixon.

Nixon spokesman Scott Holste said the attorney general’s obligation ended in 2000 when court action got the company to clean up its finances. Absent further complaints against National Prearranged, he said, it was up to state regulators overseen by the governor to keep tabs on such companies.

But routine state audits of prepaid funeral companies and customers’ contracts apparently are rare.

Radovich, for instance, said the state hadn’t audited his Charter Funerals group in more than 10 years.

In the opposite corner the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration, with input from Blunt’s office, recently appointed Platte City attorney Miller Leonard as special counsel to investigate “events that led to the current hazardous financial condition” of National Prearranged.

That inquiry appears aimed in part at Nixon’s office.

“We need to come to an understanding how a bad situation turned into a much more critical situation,” said Emily Kampeter, a spokeswoman for the state agency, which oversees both the insurance and funeral industries.

The latest development in the dispute came Friday when Nixon’s office announced it was seeking the Insurance Department’s permission to bring legal action on its behalf “against insurance, banking entities and others involved” with National Prearranged.

A spokesman for Nixon would not comment on the request, outline any specific allegations or identify any potential targets except a bank in St. Louis that did business with National Prearranged.

A spokesman Friday said state insurance director Linda Bohrer had no comment on Nixon’s request.

What’s clear is that no Missouri agency took action against the troubled firm until April — after Texas and some other states had already taken legal steps to protect their residents’ investments in prepaid funeral plans.

Now the matter is entangled in multi-state regulatory proceedings, and no one is speculating what might happen next — or how much money might be lost.

“There’s a lot to sort out,” Jonon said. “We’re not able to talk about specific numbers. We are sorting it out as quickly as possible, but it’s going to take a while.”

The Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors said National Prearranged has at least 46,000 customers in Missouri with contracts for future funerals valued in excess of $104 million.

Missouri is thought to be National Prearranged’s highest sales state, followed by Texas, where authorities estimate more than 39,000 contracts valued at $159 million are in force.

With privately held National Prearranged and its two insurance sisters now in the hands of Texas’ receivers, the company’s owners have been shoved to the sidelines. They could not be reached for comment.

“They’re not really in a position that would allow for” interviews or public statements, said Spooner, their St. Louis lawyer. “We essentially gave them (Texas regulators) the keys to the car, and we’re cooperating.”

The Missouri embalmers board said audits of company books are expected to discover consumer trust funds “substantially and significantly” underfunded and probably unable to reimburse consumers’ prepaid funerals.

Texas authorities recently issued a warning to funeral home directors that present-value reimbursement is probably not in the cards. The first round of payments it recently made as receivers, including at least one to Meyers in Blue Springs, bear that out.

State insurance regulators say industry safety net groups like the Missouri Insurance Guaranty Associations could step in and bail out Missourians’ funeral contracts underwritten by the Texas insurance firms. Counterparts in other states could do the same for their residents. But to what level is unclear since each state’s guarantee fund has its own rules and monetary limits.

Where’s the money?

National Prearranged was founded in 1979 by James Douglas Cassity, a disbarred Springfield, Mo., attorney who in the early 1980s served a six-month stretch in federal prison for fraud in an unrelated tax shelter scheme. His role in National Prearranged and myriad other Cassity family interests is unclear.

His name rarely appears in connection with family business, but Jonon noted he has engaged in recent talks with Texas insurance authorities.

“We were kind of surprised,” she said.

On paper, a Cassity family trust and family members, including sons Brent and Tyler, appear to control or influence a consortium of insurance companies, funeral homes and cemeteries.

According to court filings and other records, those entities appear to include Mount Washington Forever Funeral Home and Cemetery in Independence, Forever Enterprises Inc., Forever Memorial Inc., Forever Network Inc., Forever Illinois Inc., Forever Georgia Inc., Forever Pre-need Insurance Agency Inc., National Heritage Enterprises Inc., Heritage Research Inc., Lincoln Services Inc., National Cemetery Management Co., National Cemetery Merchandise Inc. and the RBT Trust II.

The Cassitys don’t return calls these days, and company lawyers such as Spooner aren’t saying much.

The big question: Where’s the money?

“They never failed to pay for a funeral,” Spooner said when the scandal first broke. “When you trace that money, you’re going to see that money was used strictly for business purposes and to pay premiums on policies. You’re not going to find them buying jets, boats and throwing $5 million parties.”

The crisis spun out of the complex financial relationships that underpin the pre-need industry, which Nixon a few years ago estimated had grown to a $1.6 billion enterprise in Missouri alone.

Basically, it works like this: Funeral homes sign advance contracts with individual customers. In return for money up front, the funeral home promises a certain package of funeral services when the person dies.

National Prearranged underwrote each of those contracts, agreeing to share some fees with the funeral homes and eventually reimburse its contracted funeral expenses.

National Prearranged financed those obligations with the proceeds of life insurance policies it bought and held on each prepaid customer, cashing each policy in when the customer died.

Missouri law requires at least 80 percent of the value of each contract to be held in trust. Industry critics like the National Funeral Consumers Alliance say that amount is woefully inadequate and note the minimum in many states is much higher. Texas, for instance, requires 90 percent. New York demands 100 percent.

In Missouri, prepaid companies such as National Prearranged are permitted by law to invest trust funds in prudent, interest-bearing financial instruments, such as whole life insurance policies, which increase in value over time to cover 100 percent of each contract’s face value, plus keep up with inflation.

Authorities now allege National Prearranged bled those whole life policies of their cash value and let them lapse, replacing at least some with less-valuable term life insurance policies that paid no interest.

When Texas authorities last fall discovered unusually large numbers of lapsed policies they started asking questions.

So did Alabama-based Hannover Life Reassurance Co. of America, a National Prearranged affiliate’s re-insurer that alleged in a pending lawsuit a racketeering conspiracy that defrauded Hannover of at least $15 million through the practice of converting the whole-life policies to term insurance.

Hannover alleged National Prearranged and others acted to “churn” the insurance policies from whole life to term while bleeding the policies of cash that ultimately was paid to the defendants for “high commissions and marketing fees” while denying Hannover its fair profits.

Spooner said the company denied those allegations and was fighting the legal action in U.S. District Court in St. Louis.

Missed opportunities

Missouri authorities have been asking questions about National Prearranged since at least 1992 when the attorney general sued the company over other trust funding issues.

That court action stretched into May of 2000 and involved years of court-ordered monitoring of its books.

Monitoring ended in 2000 when proper financing and insurance was in place to cover consumer contracts then on the books.

No requirements were put in place for future monitoring.

Another missed opportunity unfolded in 2005 when Nixon launched a much-ballyhooed “Operation Grave Concerns” crackdown on the prepaid funeral industry.

That initiative put a handful of Missouri funeral home operators and pre-need sellers behind bars for financial shenanigans that appear similar to those now engulfing National Prearranged.

National Prearranged got a glance from Nixon at the time, but only for failing to oversee a Salem, Mo., funeral home operator who was convicted of fraud in the misuse of payments from her customers with National Prearranged deals.

National Prearranged paid the state $10,000 in an out-of-court settlement with Nixon’s office and agreed to tighten its recordkeeping oversight of funeral directors.

But no one tightened oversight of National Prearranged, and three years later its financial house was tumbling down.

“Somebody needs to go to jail,” said Meyers, the Blue Springs funeral director.

“I’ll be damned if the Cassity family is going eat the pie and leave us the crumbs.”


Where to call
Anyone with questions about National Prearranged Services contracts can call the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors at its NPS hotline at 1-866-296-8801 or send e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Changing horses
At least two people have played two different roles in the 16-year history of controversy.

•Douglas M. Ommen for a time as an assistant attorney general led the state’s legal action against National Prearranged that stretched from 1992 into 2000. Until May 30 he was director of the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration, which regulates the prepaid funeral industry.

Earlier this year Ommen was named by Gov. Matt Blunt to a quasi-judicial post at the Missouri Administrative Hearing Commission. He started that job June 2.

•Randall J. Singer, from 1993 until early 2001, was director of Missouri’s Division of Professional Registration, which also had a role in regulating the industry through the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors.

When Texas and other states began piling on with legal actions earlier this year, one target was the same Randall J. Singer, who surfaced as president of National Prearranged’s sister company Lincoln Memorial Life Insurance.

Ommen has declined interview requests. Singer could not be reached.


Political donations
Before its current troubles, National Prearranged was one of the national funeral industry’s largest political donors. The National Institute on Money in Politics recently traced $108,827 in contributions linked to National Prearranged to political candidates between 1999 and 2006, ranking it 10th in the nation among funeral industry givers.

Much of its cash giving went to Missouri politicians, including Attorney General Jay Nixon and Gov. Matt Blunt.

To reach Rick Alm, call 816-234-4785 or send e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . | Rick Alm, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | Rick Alm, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 


 

5/21/08 - TEXAS TAKES CONTROL OF NPS; MISSOURI FORMS PRENEED LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE

The Texas Department of Insurance has put National Prearranged Services in receivership. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the prepaid funeral company - accused of misusing millions of dollars of consumers' prepaid funeral money - has been ordered by a Texas court to stop transacting business. The state appointed Donna J. Garrett as the receiver, and the Post-Dispatch states "Texas was concerned that another party might file a lawsuit or take action that could hamper operations at NPS [and its insurance companies, Lincoln Memorial Life Insurance in Missouri and Texas]. . "

The article says Donna Garrett will spend two to three months sorting out NPS' finances and trying to determine if there's enough money to pay funeral directors who sold their customers NPS policies. Funeral directors were expecting that growth on the policies would cover their costs when consumers died and actually needed their funerals, but it looks unlikely funeral homes will get anything more than the face value of the policies, if that. What does this mean for consumers? If a funeral home promised in a contract that they'd guarantee the price of your funeral, they're obligated to honor that. Experience shows, however, that some funeral homes will try to wiggle out of their responsibilities to consumers by charging extra. Be sure to read your contract carefully, and do not let a funeral home take financial advantage.

Meanwhile in Missouri, the Legislature has formed a Joint Committee on Preneed Funeral Contracts to study the effect of the preneed funeral industry on consumers and report on their findings by January 31, 2009. The bill number creating the committee is SB 788. Thankfully, the poorly crafted "reform" bills in the MO legislature died (scroll down for our analysis). Let's hope the members recognize how terribly the current laws treat consumers so lawmakers can write clear, meaningful legislation in the next session. It's high time for Missouri to stop letting preneed sellers pocket 20 percent of a customer's money upfront, and then skim the interest every year off the account.

 

Update 5/3/08 - The next time a funeral home tells you it’s a great idea to “guarantee today’s prices” by prepaying your funeral, pull out this article. Funeral Consumers Alliance has long warned against prepaying for your funeral, but even we’re surprised at how widespread the scams and stolen consumer money have become in the preneed industry. The latest preneed company teetering on the brink --- along with hundreds of millions of dollars consumers have prepaid for “peace of mind” --- is National Prearranged Services.

NPS and its affiliated life insurance company, Lincoln Memorial Life Insurance, are under investigation by regulators in at least 10 states. Alleging the companies have been draining money out of consumers’ prepaid insurance contracts, regulators in Texas, Missouri, Kentucky, Iowa, Ohio, have told the company to stop selling policies while officials examine their books.


It’s not clear how many consumers are affected, but according to the Kansas City Star, at least 46,000 Missouri residents have bought NPS policies. The Texas departments of banking and insurance says at least 39,000 Texans have bought them too.

So what has NPS been up to? According to an article in the Kansas City Star, a pyramid scheme:

“The allegations suggest a pyramid scheme has been in place for at least eight years by the insurer and National Prearranged Services of St. Louis that used payments from new customers to pay off existing ‘pre-need’ funeral customers’ guaranteed burial plans.”


The Missouri Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers’ Web site says this:

“. . . NPS may have shortages in their preneed trust accounts. Specifically, the Board has reason to believe that the trust accounts contain a substantially and significantly lower amount than the 80 percent of preneed funds [paid by consumers] that are statutorily required to be in trust . . .The trust may also have far less than the amount of preneed funds that were transferred to the trust by other preneed sellers/funeral establishments through ‘rollovers.’ Frankly, serious questions have been raised as to whether NPS will have sufficient funds to continue to pay its obligations on preneed claims.”


According to the Kansas City Star, Hannover Life Reassurance Company sued NPS last year, claiming NPS converted whole life insurance policies into less-valuable term life insurance, then took the extra money to pay for “high commissions and marketing fees.” Hannover was apparently NPS’s “reinsurance company,” which means Hannover provided insured NPS against NPS’ own losses.

The Ft. Worth Star Telegram Watchdog columnist Dave Lieber described it this way:

“Here’s what appears to have happened: NPS used money it made from funeral contracts to buy whole life insurance policies, but eventually the company decided to convert these whole life policies into term life policies. This gave the company money up-front because it could borrow money based on the policy. But eventually more money was required to cover the cost of ballooning payments for the term life policies.”

 

Funeral Directors Will Probably Take a Hit: Don’t Let Them Take it Out of You!


Funeral homes sold NPS policies to customers, depending on policy growth to cover the rising costs of providing funerals to the customer. But it looks like NPS policies probably won’t pay out more than their face value at the time of death, if that. Some funeral homes may try to get families to pay more for the funeral at the time of death so the funeral home doesn’t have to take the hit. Don’t let them. If your family member signed a contract for a price-guaranteed funeral, the funeral home is obligated to provide that funeral without charging you more. Be sure to read your contract carefully and know your rights.

What Should You Do?


It’s impossible to say how much value your prepaid policy with NPS has, or how much it will have at the time of your death. We can’t tell you whether to continue paying on your policy, or try to cash it out and get what you can now. Some state regulators advise consumers to keep paying policy premiums, others say nothing. Since state regulators are taking over the company and lawsuits against it are pending, we have no idea yet what your best options are. If you’ve got an NPS policy, you should contact the regulators in your state for advice. Be warned, though: many state agencies are giving out only tentative information and may not have much practical advice for you yet. Below is a list of some of the state regulators in charge of the investigation. If you don’t see your state on the list below, do a Google search for your state’s funeral board and insurance department.

Missouri Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors

Texas Department of Banking - Here's a press release on NPS

Ohio Department of Insurance - the ODI put out a press release detailing the scam NPS was running on consumers.

Iowa Insurance Division - the IID has a press release with answers to consumer questions here.

Kentucky Office of Insurance

Illinois Comptroller’s Office Q&A for NPS and Lincoln Memorial customers

 


 

4/9/08 - The Texas Departments of Banking and Finance and Insurance issued a joint press release today about the "hazardous financial condition" of several prepaid funeral life insurance companies. What does this mean for consumers who've prepaid for their funerals with Memorial Service Life Insurance Company, Lincoln Memorial Life Insurance Co., and National Prearranged Services? We'll try to untangle the thicket of government-speak below - read on. . .

 

  • The state believes the companies are in serious financial trouble, though we don't know what "Routine oversight activities by TDI revealed a significant amount of surrendered transactions by the companies at the end of 2006" means.
  • The state has ordered the company to stop selling life insurance in Texas.
  • The state is requiring the companies to come up with a plan to make sure they pay out on life insurance policies consumers have already bought to finance their funerals.
  • The state claims consumers can expect the companies will pay out the full face amount of the policy, but that funeral homes and consumers can't expect any new growth. For the consumer, this means the policy won't keep growing to keep pace with inflation. It also means that funeral homes who've sold prepaid funerals to consumers with guaranteed prices will have to eat the difference if the customer's funeral ends up costing more than the policy pays out. (Note to consumers - be sure you read your original contract. If it's price-guaranteed, that means the funeral home has to provide the funeral you contracted for, even if your life insurance policy falls short!)

If you've got further questions about your policy or what all of this means, contact the Insurance Dept.'s Consumer Protection office at 800-252-3439, or the Dept. of Banking at 877-276-5554. Funeral directors should contact the Dept. of Banking.

Here's the original press release. (Note to the Texas Departments of Banking and Insurance - we appreciate that you're doing your job to protect consumers, honestly. But please, please learn to write press releases in clear, plain English that the public understands. It really does matter.)

 


Texas Department of Insurance 
Texas Department of Banking
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FOR MORE INFORMATION
April 9, 2008 John Greeleyaltaltaltaltaltaltaltaltalt(512) 463-6425
Joint News Release  Russell Reese (512) 475-1324alt
 
Insurance, Banking Departments Issue Orders on Companies
Involved With Pre-Need Funeral Contracts
 
AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) has issued a Hazardous Financial Condition Order for Memorial Service Life Insurance Company, Lincoln Memorial Life Insurance Co., and National Prearranged Services, Inc. pursuant to Chapter 404 of the Texas Insurance Code. At the same time, the Texas Department of Banking (DOB) entered into an Agreed Order with National Prearranged Services, Inc., to cease selling prepaid funeral benefits contracts pursuant to Chapter 154 of the Texas Finance Code.

 

National Prearranged Services (NPS) of St. Louis sells pre-need funeral contracts in several states and is licensed in Texas by the DOB to sell insurance-funded prepaid funeral benefits contracts. NPS has approximately 39,000 insurance-funded prepaid funeral benefits contracts outstanding in Texas. NPS is a general agent for Lincoln Memorial Life Insurance Company and Memorial Service Life Insurance Company. NPS is ultimately owned by a Trust created by the Cassity family in the state of Missouri.

 

Lincoln Memorial Life Insurance Company and Memorial Service Life Insurance Company were placed in supervision by TDI in October 2007. Routine oversight activities by TDI revealed a significant amount of surrendered transactions by the companies at the end of 2006. In March 2008, TDI issued an order for the companies to cease writing new business in Texas. These actions were confidential, by statute.

 

The TDI-issued Hazardous Financial Condition Order requires the companies to establish a plan to pay policyholder claims and to address existing contracts.

 

The DOB-issued Agreed Order requires NPS to cease selling prepaid funeral benefits contracts in Texas. The DOB Order also requires NPS to take actions to comply with Chapter 154 of the Texas Finance Code for outstanding contracts and to return all prepaid funeral benefits contracts and associated payments received since March 17, 2008 to the purchasers. Finally, the DOB Order requires NPS to initiate actions to remove NPS as the policy beneficiary for polices issued in conjunction with Texas prepaid funeral benefits contracts.

 

“While every effort was made to secure the companies and return them to normal operations, the decision was made to take this regulatory action,” said Texas Insurance Commissioner Mike Geeslin. “As we move forward, our goal is to use every law on the books to protect consumers, coordinate with other regulators and states and – most importantly – keep all parties informed as issues develop.”

 

“It is imperative that we work closely with NPS and the funeral providers to ensure all Texas consumers receive their prepaid funeral goods and services as originally promised,” said Texas Banking Commissioner Randall James.

 

TDI, the DOB and regulators in other states will continue to work with NPS, Memorial Service Life Insurance Company and Lincoln Memorial Life Insurance Company for a reasonable resolution for consumers in Texas and elsewhere.

 

Texas consumers with pre-need funeral contracts funded by insurance policies written by Memorial Service Life can expect that the policies will be paid up to the face amount. However, it is unlikely that funeral providers will receive any additional compensation in the form of a policy or contract growth payment from NPS which will affect the 650 Texas funeral homes who have agreed to service the prepaid contracts as the funeral providers.

 

 

Consumers and insurance agents with questions about the status of a pre-need funeral contract should contact TDI’s Consumer Protection at alt(800) 252-3439 or the DOB at (877) 276-5554alt. Funeral home operators/agents should direct questions to the DOB.

 

# # #

ORIGINAL STORY published April 5, 2008 - If you've got a prepaid insurance plan for your funeral from National Prearranged Services or its subsidiary, Lincoln Memorial, Texas regulators won't tell you if your policy's in trouble, according to Ft. Worth Star Telegram columnist Dave Lieber. In a recent Watchdog column, Lieber said the Texas Dept. of Insurance won't comment on whether or why the state has ordered the companies to stop selling in Texas.

Texas officials decline to comment on the financial status of NPS, which also goes by Forever Enterprises. Thanks, then, go to the Kentucky Office of Insurance, which tells us on its Web site that Kentucky has suspended NPS from selling because of a similar action in Texas. According to Kentucky, the Texas Insurance Department issued a directive to NPS' subsidiary to cease writing new business in Texas effective March 21.
Reason cited: "Lincoln Memorial's hazardous condition as well as other issues related to premium receivables."

This is interesting, considering the Texas Department of Banking's Web site lists Lincoln Memorial Life Insurance company as "active" with "normal operations." Check for yourself on their site, but beware it must be one of the most user-unfriendly government sites ever. Looks like the Dept. wants to make it hard to get information by any means.

Sure enough, the Kentucky Dept. of Insurance lists a cease and desist order against Lincoln Memorial dated March 27, 2008. The order states, "Whereas, as a result of Lincoln Memorial's hazardous financial condition as well as other issues related to premium receivables, the Texas Department of Insurance issued a Directive to Cease Writing New Business to Lincoln Memorial effective March 17, 2008."

What's going on, Texas? What about the consumers holding NPS or Lincoln Memorial policies? Why has the state ordered the company to stop selling, but still lists it as "active" with "normal operations?" Lieber writes:

The Watchdog asked Texas banking and insurance regulators for any information about NPS. They all declined to answer any questions, citing confidentiality laws.

"The fact that it came out in another state's document, we have no control over that," said John Greeley of the Texas Insurance Department. He couldn't comment further, he said, because "among the range of actions we can take, some of the actions are confidential." State insurance lawyers were unavailable for comment, he said.

Gee thanks. Care to explain to policyholders why something so important as ordering a company to stop selling insurance is "confidential?" FCA of North Texas' Jim Bates (also a board member of FCA National) told the Star-Telegram, "I can't figure it out, there's just something wrong about that. We should be given information about what our government agencies are working on."

Hear, hear. Note to Texas regulators - your job is to protect the public. That includes warning consumers who may be depending on a bad insurance policy to pay for their funerals.

Hats off to Watchdog Dave Lieber - we need assertive press men like you to keep government accountable. Keep their feet to the fire.

Got information on National Prearranged Services or Lincoln Memorial? Leave us a comment below or email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 09 July 2013 15:09 )  
Comments (87)
1 Saturday, 05 April 2008 23:14
http://www.npsnetwork.com/fh.asp

This link is to a the NPS website and their map page of the states where they do business.
2 Monday, 05 May 2008 08:51
dig deeper
3 Monday, 05 May 2008 10:28
check out lawyers for plica, RBT Trust II, Heritage Enterprises, NPS
4 Wednesday, 07 May 2008 09:14
all of the funeral home owners, who have no federal/state safeguards, will not recieve payment by these dishonest insurance scamers. They should sue these companies all at once for the gains needed to pay the individual clients. Get in line behind Brousards quick before NPS and the Cassity Tamily Trust hide all of their many many assets underneath the family headstone.
5 Wednesday, 07 May 2008 13:21
When approached a couple of years ago by a pretty young lady peddling NPS to funeral homes, I responded to her sales pitch (high commissions, exotic bonus trips, great growth, etc.) by saying, "My daddy always told me if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is."

She's out of a job now, and her funeral director customers are left holding the bag. The preneed purchasers will probably get their funerals, but at the heavy expense of the funeral directors who fell for this Ponzi scheme.

Will P.
6 Thursday, 08 May 2008 01:11
NPS: Show me the money!
Posted on May 2, 2008 by Bill Stalter
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On Wednesday, April 30th, the Missouri Department of Insurance fired off the first salvo in the legal proceedings to recover funds from Lincoln Memorial Life Insurance Company. In an effort to prepare those affected by the NPS meltdown, the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors and the Division of Professional Registration have issued press releases that explain critical issues related to this situation. The tenor of these press releases is substantially different from those previously released by other states’ regulators. Consumers and funeral directors need to review these releases carefully.
If it hasn’t been apparent to funeral directors before now, Missouri’s filings against Lincoln Memorial Life reflect that the NPS trusts are full of term insurance policies. Some reports indicate that the policies may be lapsing soon. While Missouri Department of Insurance has filed its actions against Lincoln Memorial Life, the eventual target will be the NPS/Lincoln corporate officers and directors. Because regulators must pursue their claims through the authorities granted by the statutes governing insurance and preneed, funeral homes need to consider banding together in an action that focuses on the authorities granted to the replacement management team installed by the Texas regulators.
The Missouri regulators and their legal staffs have been overwhelmed by the situation. These offices were understaffed to begin with, and the magnitude of the investigation, legal proceedings and inquiries has stretched their resources to the limits. This all may make for good campaign rhetoric in the upcoming fall elections, but the industry needs to take actions to help recover improperly diverted funds.
The rumors of law firms offering to initiate class action lawsuits have already begun to circulate. But, most funeral directors probably appreciate that building a coalition to preserve the NPS assets and working towards an equitable division of the proceeds would better serve their interests. To be fair, consumers need an explanation about the third party preneed transaction and their exposure for the NPS failure.
The majority of preneed contracts are between the funeral home/cemetery and the purchaser, wherein the funeral home/cemetery is the primary obligor. The essence of the contract is two promises: the purchaser to pay a specific amount of money and the funeral home/cemetery to provide certain described services and goods when the purchaser (beneficiary) dies.
NPS is (was) a third party preneed seller. Funeral homes and cemeteries use third party sellers for a handful of valid purposes. Often, smaller death care companies may not have the volume of preneed sales to justify the expense of contracts, administration and compliance and so they contract with third party preneed sellers. Some states require the death care company to be the obligor of the preneed contract, but many do not. In states where law requires the death care company to be the obligor, the third party seller acts in an agency capacity to the funeral home and cemetery. It that situation, the death care company has an obligation to honor the contract regardless of most circumstances (like the failure of the trust).
However, states such as Missouri and Texas, allow the third party seller to be the obligor of the preneed contract. In these types of preneed transactions, there are four sets of promises: the purchaser to pay money to the third party seller, the third party seller to cause the funeral home to provide a funeral by paying it money, the funeral home to provide the funeral, and the third party seller to pay money to the funeral home. However, the terms of the payment between the third party seller and the funeral home are not generally disclosed in the preneed contract, but rather in a separate agreement between the third party seller and the funeral home/cemetery (called an associate agreement or provider agreement).
NPS used a multitude of different preneed contract forms and associate agreements (most of which were infamous for their ambiguity or brevity). NPS relied upon these ambiguities to transfer preneed contracts from one funeral home to another funeral home if the circumstances benefited NPS. Consequently, the agreements were intended to be difficult to enforce, which cuts two ways.
Regulators did not seem to appreciate this fact when early press releases were issued to calm consumers. Those press releases suggested that funeral homes would have to honor their NPS contract “pursuant to their terms”. While funeral directors cannot afford to walk away from their families, regulators need to follow the lead taken by Missouri’s State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors by being more forthright with consumers. If the NPS/Lincoln proceedings take years to resolve (instead of months), the parties will need an understanding of their respective rights and obligations in reaching fair and equitable settlements.
7 Tuesday, 13 May 2008 08:10
This is comeupance! This is what happens with major ego-driven criminals. You would think that they would have headed a little caution after the stint in prison, but no, the egos involved in this family are uncontrollable. They still believe they did nothing wrong. I guess if they get to keep the extreme cars, houses,vacations, schools, clubs etc... it's alright with them. They have stuff hidden in grandkids names all over the nation. What a way to use your family to support your spending habits (not to mention the hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting families who bought worthless contracts from them) These people are prime examples of "want-a-bes". It would be prudent for the funeral directors to class action sue the Rhonda Brent Tyler Trust (RBT Trust II). The individuals should class action sue NPS/Lincoln, if there is anything left after Broussards gets them. (They have had three or so months of forewarning on this and have surely scrambled to hide cash in newly formed untraceable trusts.) The Cassity family has made a great living upon screwing unsuspecting individuals and other companies for years. This time, as oppossed to the investigations of wrongdoing in 1994 and 2000, the family needs to be held financially responsible at the expense of their extraordinary lifestyles.
8 Wednesday, 14 May 2008 18:57
If the funeral home owners who used NPS products to fund pre-arranged funerals want to learn who is involved in this financial collapse they need only look into the mirror. Were they blinded by the attractive women in short skirts or was it the empty promises of high return on investments that made them deposit consumer dollars in a Ponzi scheme? Actually it was both. Most funeral directors succed in spite of themselves and they have proved again that they are very poor businessmen. Could this be another example of why the consumer is turning to low cost cremation and alternative disposal services? You bet it is. In a recent informal poll of funeral directors in this state, it was discovered that a majority of those funerl home owners were going to continue to do business with the former NPS girls, as the same women that sold them on participating in the financial house of cards moved them into other marginal, poorly funded, small insurance companies. Don't these idiots understand that it was poor advice from these same people that got them into trouble? I guess not! You will not be sleeping with these women and you need to understand that, before you hurt our profession more than you already have. Get as far away from these advisors as you can. The Prince of Darkness comes in attractive packages, as do his acolytes.
Shame, shame on the state insurance/banking regulators who were asleep at the wheel. They bear as much responsibility as do the perpetrators of this great crime. Shame on the Stare FDA associations who endorsed the use of thiese products. When will we REALLY learn the age old mantra: "If it looks too good to be true, it is too good to be true"? Sadly, many funeral home owners never will. Due diligence means making a close study of the investment vehicle to be used then basing your decision on the financial facts, not on how much you like the presenter. Every funeral home owner who used NPS will get what they deserve.
9 Thursday, 15 May 2008 08:22
The skirt who was in charge of the "NPS Girls". Rumor has it she was making about 800,000 a year!!! She has now started her own insurance agency. Talk about arrogance!!

You can't blame the advisors who worked underneath her just because they are women! I am a woman and I blame my myself for not doing MY research on Lincoln Memorial. My decision had nothing to do with the representative who called on me, much less how short her skirt was (which she always dressed in a professional manner). It was a good product and it did what they said it would do for MANY, MANY years. I learned a lesson and that is to check your companies financials on an annual basis. Things change.

Shame on you "Thomas Jefferson". Frankly, your comment is insulting, volatile & self-rightious to have much credit. You are playing on all of our personal guilt & feelings of "being taken". Apparently, if it had been an attractive, buddy type, male sales force who took us golfing, fishing, hunting... That would be more acceptable?

I AM doing business with my former rep and I can assure you it has nothing to with the length of her skirt or my desire to get her in my bed!! She happens to be working with an AM Best A rated insurance company with solid financials. I have looked them up and I have done my research. They have an A rating with Weiss as well!! I will continue to check their rating and financialy every single year.
10 Thursday, 15 May 2008 16:23
FYI...In Brent's "thanks for playing" farewell speech to his sales reps, he mentioned he was starting another preneed biz. I wonder if "her" ins. biz. is really "his"?

While you're checking that out...did anyone happen to see who is on the Board of Directors for the Centrue Bank that's moving to St. Louis? Yep, Brent himself. And if you "really" dig you'll see that Centrue's headquarter's just happen to be at the same location as RBT Trust II.
11 Thursday, 15 May 2008 22:09
The Cassity Family and other prominent members of the St. Louis community plan marketing blitz for Centrue's arrival. (Notice the release date of this article. Just 3 days before Brent announced the big lay off. I wondering if he was thinking about what he would say as he's hobnobbing with St. Louis's "elite"?...He probably should've been asking for a loan since he knew what was coming...
http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/stories/2008/03/31/story
5.html

"a little SEC info on RBT Trust II"
http://www.secinfo.com/d1zJxf.52k.htm

Centrue and RBT Trust II "are just a suite away"
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUS149717+24-Mar-2008+MW20080324
12 Monday, 19 May 2008 09:31
All the cassity family needed in place for their gargantuous criminal laundering/racketeering empire was an unsuspecting bank that recently recruited unsuspecting upstanding st. louis "elite" for their board of directors. Someone should check out this PLICA insurance scam also. Some of the same lawyers are involved.
13 Monday, 19 May 2008 09:39
This goes so much deeper than just the trashy, fake tanned NPS girls. In fact, this goes far deeper than just the Cassity family holdings. Doug Cassity has been investing the dirty money for maany many years using many many different versions of his name as well as different versions of his children's and wife's names and who knows who else's.
14 Monday, 19 May 2008 10:18
NOTICE IN THIS AGREED ORDER FROM THE STATE OF TEXAS THAT DOUG CASSITY'S HOLDINGS AND PROPERTY ARE NOT INCLUDED!!

Cause No. D-t-GV-08-000945
THE STATE OF TEXAS, § IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF
Plaintiff §
V. §
§
MEMORIAL SERVICE LIFE INSURANCE § TRAVIS COUNTY, TEXAS
COMPANY, LINCOLN MEMORIAL §
LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, §
AND NATIONAL PREARRANGED §
SERVICES, INC. §
Defendants § 250" JUDICIAL DISTRICT
AGREED ORDERAPPOINTING REHABILITATOR AND
PERMANENT INJUNCTION
On this day, the Court heard the
Plaintijj's First Amended Original Petition Requesting
Appointment of Rehabilitator and Injunctive Relief
("Application") filed by the State of Texas at
the request of the Commissioner of Insurance. The Application requests an order placing
Memorial Service Life Insurance Company ("Memorial"), Lincoln Memorial Life Insurance
Company ("Lincoln), and National Prearranged Services, Inc. ("NPS"), Defendants, into
rehabilitation pursuant to TEX. INS. CODE § 443.101
et seq, and appointing the Commissioner of
Insurance for the State of Texas ("Commissioner of Insurance") as Receiver for Rehabilitation
("Rehabilitator") of Defendants. This Application is also brought to obtain a Permanent
Injunction pursuant to TEX. INS. CODE § 443.008(a), restraining Defendants and their agents
from conducting Defendants' business, and restraining other parties from taking any actions
against Defendants or their property.
1. FINDINGS
Having considered Plaintiffs verified petition, the evidence and arguments of counsel,
the Court finds as follows:
1.1 The Court has jurisdiction over the parties and the subject matter of this action.
12 The Court finds that Defendants are in hazardous financial condition as set out in Tex.
Ins. Code § 443.057(9), that grounds exist to place Defendants into rehabilitation under
TEX. INS. CODE § 443.057, and that Plaintiff is entitled to an Order of Rehabilitation and
Permanent Injunction as requested in the Application pursuant to TEX. INS. CODE
443.058.
1.3 The Commissioner of Insurance must be appointed as Rehabilitator of Defendants
pursuant to TEX. INS. CODE § 443.151, and vested by operation of law with title to all of
Defendants' property as defined in TEX. INS. CODE § 443.004(a)(20). Such property
shall include property of any kind or nature, whether real, personal, or mixed, including
but not limited to money, funds, cash, stock, bonds, account deposits, statutory deposits,
special deposits, contents of safe deposit boxes, funds held in share accounts or trust
accounts, retainages and retainers, letters of credit, real estate, fixtures, furniture,
equipment, books, records, documents and insurance policies, intellectual property,
computer software and systems, information technology, internet domain names, patents
and intangible assets, whether owned individually, jointly, or severally, wherever located,
and all rights, claims or causes of action belonging to Defendants, whether asserted or
not, including but not limited to accounts receivable, notes, premiums, subrogation,
insurance and reinsurance proceeds, and all licenses held by Defendants (collectively,
"Defendants' Property"). The Rehabilitator's title to Defendants' Property shall extend to
all items owned by Defendants, regardless of the name in which such items are held.
Pursuant to TEX. INS. CODE § 443.101(a), the Rehabilitator is directed to take possession
of the Defendants' Property, wherever located.
Agreed Order Appointing Rehabilitator and Permanent Injunction Page 2
1.4 The Rehabilitator may take action as he deems necessary or appropriate to perform his
duties pursuant to TEX. INS. CODE § 443.101 et seq. The Rehabilitator shall have all the
powers of Defendants' directors, officers and managers, and the authority of such persons
is suspended except as specifically permitted by the Rehabilitator or his designees.
Further, Defendants and Defendants' agents are required to cooperate with the
Rehabilitator pursuant to TEX. INS. CODE § 443.010. The Rehabilitator shall also have the
special powers requested in the petition as set forth below.
1.6 It is necessaryfor this Court to issue a permanent injunction pursuant to TEX. INS. CODE
§ 443.008(a) to carry out the provisions of TEX. INS. CODE Chapter 443, and prevent
irreparable injury, loss and damage to the general public and Defendants' creditors. A
necessity exists to enjoin Defendants and Defendants' agents from conducting
Defendants' business; to enjoin financial institutions or depositories from taking any
actions in connection with Defendants' property, except as authorized by the
Rehabilitator, and to enjoin all claimants or creditors from asserting claims or causes of
action against Defendants, except as permitted by Tex. INS. CODE Chapter 443.
1.7 Pursuant to TEX. INS. CODE § 443.008, an automatic stay is in effect upon the
commencement of the rehabilitation proceeding.
1.8 By signing this Order, Defendants have waived citation and service of process and have
consented to the entry of this Order.
11. APPOINTMENT OF REHABILITATOR
IT IS ORDEREDthat the Commissioner of Insurance is appointed as Rehabilitator of
Defendants, and granted the following duties and powers:
Agreed Order Appointing Rehabilitator and Permanent Injunction Page 3
2.1 The Rehabilitator is granted and given all powers and authority under TEX. INS. CODE §
443.101 et seg, and any and all other powers and authority under applicable statutes and
the common law of this State.
2.2 Pursuant to TEX. INS. CODE § 443.101(a), title to all of Defendants' Property, including
but not limited to all the assets and rights described in this Agreed Order Appointing
Rehabilitator and Permanent Injunction, is vested in the Rehabilitator.
2.3 The Rehabilitator is authorized to take control and/or possession of Defendants' Property,
wherever located, and remove all such property from Defendants' premises.
2.4 The Rehabilitator is authorized to withdraw Defendants' Property from any banks,
financial institutions and other depositories, agencies of any state or the federal
government, and any other entities, or continue the operation of any accounts of
Defendants, at his discretion.
2.5 The Rehabilitator is authorized to appoint a special deputy and retain any other
professional, administrative, and clerical services as he deems necessary pursuant to TEX.
INS. CODE § 443.102(a). The Rehabilitator is further authorized to set the compensation
of such persons, and pay for such services from Defendants' funds pursuant to TEX. INS.
CODE § 443.015(e).
2.6 The Rehabilitator is authorized to conduct Defendants' business, administer Defendants'
operations, and enter into any contracts necessary to perform the Rehabilitator's duties, at
his discretion pursuant to TEX. INS. CODE § 443.102.
Agreed Order AppointingRehabilitatorand Permanent Injunction Page 4
2.7 The Rehabilitator is authorized to supervise, suspend, terminate, or dismiss any or all of
the agents, employees, officers, and/or directors of Defendants' or retain such persons at
his discretion, and compensate them as he deems necessary from Defendants' funds.
2.8 The Rehabilitator is authorized to receive, collect, control, open and review all mail
addressed to or intended for Defendants, or arriving at Defendants' address.
2.9 The Rehabilitator is authorized to file, prosecute, defend, or settle any action as he deems
necessary, including any action to enforce the provisions of this order.
2.10 The Rehabilitator is authorized to exclude any person from any property owned, leased or
occupied by Defendants, at his discretion.
2.11 The Rehabilitator is authorized to pay claims that are approved by the Rehabilitator or
allowed in accordance with a rehabilitation plan approved under TEX. INS. CODE §
443,103. The Rehabilitator is further authorized to establish a procedure for the
processing of claims, provided that such procedure is consistent with TEx. INS. CODE §
443.103(c)(1), and provides no less favorable treatment of a claim or class of claims than
would occur in liquidation, unless a claimant agrees to a less favorable treatment of a
claim.
2.12 The Rehabilitator is authorized to assume or reject pre-receivership contracts with
Defendants at his discretion pursuant to TEx. INS. CODE § 443.013.
2.13 Pursuant to TEX. INS. CODE § 443.008(m), the Commissioner of Insurance is not required
to file a bond.
Agreed Order Appointing Rehabilitator and Permanent
Injunction Page 5
2.14 In the event a successor is appointed to be the Commissioner of Insurance
, the successor
shall become the Rehabilitator upon his appointment as Commissioner, and the former
Commissioner shall be discharged as Rehabilitator as a matter of law.
2.15 The Rehabilitator'
s designees and any Special Deputy appointed under
TEX. INS. CODE §
443.102(
a) shall have all the rights and powers of the Rehabilitator
, subject to any
limitations imposed by the Rehabilitator.
2.16 The Rehabilitator is authorized and has the ability to take any action that he deems
necessary or appropriate to redeem or revitalize the Defendants as allowed by
TEX. INS.
CODE § 443.
102(b), including the ability to address issues and make applications to the
court relating to surrenders
of whole life insurance policies
and the subsequent
replacement with term policies
, and the ability to
address issues and make applications to
the court related to designation or redesignation
of beneficiaries and/or owners of
insurance policies issued
by Lincoln or Memorial.
2.17 The Rehabilitatoris required
to report to thereceivership court as required
by TEX. INS.
CODE §§ 443.015(g), 443.016, and 443.101(b).
Ili. PERMANENT INJUNCTION
It is FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of this Court shall issue a Permanent
Injunction against the persons and entities named below, with the following force and effect:
TO: Defendants and their agents, including but not limited to:
Defendants and their its current and former officers, trustees and
directors (including but not limited to Randall J. Singer, Randall K.
Sutton, George Wise, Brent D. Cassity, L. Keith Hale, Hans H.
Dahl, Nekol Province, Anne M. Chrun, James M. Crawford, and
Howard A. Winner), owners (including but not limited to including
but not limited to Brent Cassity, Forever Enterprises, Inc., National
Heritage Enterprises, Inc., and the RBT Trust 1I), underwriters,
Agreed
Order Appointing Rehabilitator and Permanent Injunction Page 6
affiliates (including but not limited to Wise & Associates, Inc.,
Forever Memorial, Inc., Forever Network, Inc., Forever Illinois,
Inc., Forever Georgia, Inc., Forever Preneed Insurance Agency, In.,
Heritage Research, Inc., Lincoln Services, Inc., National Cemetery
Management Company, and National Cemetery Merchandise,
Inc.), managers, employees, agents, servants, representatives,
attorneys, adjusters and other persons or entities acting on behalf of
Defendants;
Financial institutions, including but not limited to:
any and all banks (including Bremen Bank and Trust Company),
savings and loan associations; trust companies; credit unions;
welfare trusts; or any other financial or depository institutions in
the possession of any of Defendants' Property; and
All other parties, including but not limited to:
policyholders, creditors, claimants, reinsurers, intermediaries,
attorneys and all other persons, associations, corporations, or any
other legal entities asserting claims or causes of action against
Defendants, or in possession of any of Defendants' Property, and
the United States Postmaster.
Each of you are hereby
RESTRAINED and ENJOINED
from taking any and all of the
following actions:
3.1 Doing, operating,
or conducting Defendants' business under any charter,
certificate of
authority, license, permit,
power or privilege belonging to or issued to Defendants, or
exercising any direction, control,
or influence over Defendants' business, except through
the authority of the Rehabilitator or his designees;
3.2 Transacting any business of Defendants' in any manner except through the authority of
the Rehabilitator or his designees;
3.3 Wasting, disposing of, converting, dissipating, using, releasing, transferring, selling,
assigning, canceling, hypothecating, withdrawing, allowing to be withdrawn, offsetting,
concealing, in any manner, or removing from this Court's jurisdiction or from
Agreed Order
Appointing Rehabilitator and Pennanent Injunction Page 7
Defendants' place of business, any of Defendants' Property, or any other items purchased
by Defendants, or any items into which such property has been transferred, deposited or
placed, or any other items owned by Defendants', wherever located, except through the
authority of the Rehabilitator or his designees;
3.4 Releasing, transferring, selling, assigning
or asserting ownership of, in any manner, any
claims
, accounts receivable, or causes of action belonging to Defendants, whether
asserted or not, except through the authority of the Rehabilitator or his designees;
3.5 Doing anything, directly or indirectly, to prevent the Rehabilitator or his designees from
gaining access to, acquiring, examining
, or investigating any of Defendants' Property or
any other property, books, documents
, records, or other materialsconcerningDefendants'
business, under whatever name they may be found;
3.6 Interfering with these proceedings or with the lawful acts of the Rehabilitator or his
designeesin any way;
3.7 Intervening in this proceeding for the purpose of obtaining a payment from the
receivership estate of Defendants as prohibited by TEX. INS. CODE § 443.005(i);
3.8 Making any claim, charge or offset, or commencing or prosecuting any action, appeal, or
arbitration, including administrative proceedings, or obtaining any preference, judgment,
attachment, garnishment, or other lien, or making any levy against Defendants,
Defendants' Property or any part thereof, or against the Rehabilitator, except as permitted
by TEX. INS. CODE Chapter 443, Subchapter F.
EACH OF YOU ARE FURTHER SPECIFICALLY ORDERED to make available and
disclose to the Rehabilitator or his designees the nature,
amount, and location of any and all of
Agreed Order Appointing Rehabilitator and Permanent Injunction Page 8
the items listed above, including but not limited to Defendants' Property, and immediately
surrender all such property to the Rehabilitator or his designees. The Court further specifically
finds and orders that the Rehabilitator is vested by operation of law with title to the rights of
Defendants as the customer of any financial institution. Defendants and Defendants agents are
further ordered to cooperate with the Rehabilitator or his designees as required by TEX. INS.
CODE § 443.010(a).
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the United
States Postmasterand any other delivery
services shall deliver to the Rehabilitator any items addressed to or intended for Defendants.
IV. AUTOMATIC STAYS
4.1 Automatic stays are in effect with respect to
actions against Defendants or its property as
provided by TEX. INS. CODE §§ 443.008(c) & (d). In accordance with TEx. INS. CODE §
443.008(f), such stay of actions against Defendants is in effect for the duration of this
proceeding
, and the stay of actions against Defendants' property is in effect for
as long as
the property belongs to the receivershipestate.
4.2 The stays in effect pursuant to TEx. INS. CODE § 443.008 shall be applicable to any
actions descri bed therein commenced either before or after the entry of this order.
V. OTHER ORDERS
5.1 This
Agreed Order Appointing Rehabilitator and Permanent Injunction
shall issue and
become effective immediately, and shall continue in full force and effect until the entry of
an order by this Court terminating rehabilitation entered under TEX. INS. CODE § 443.104.
Agreed Order
Appointing Rehabilitator and Permanent Injunction Page 9
5.2 Pursuant to TEx. INS. CODE § 443.055(b), this
Agreed Order Appointing Rehabilitator
and Permanent injunction
constitutes a final judgment, provided that this Court shall
retain jurisdictionto issue further
orders pursuant
to TEX. INS. CODE Chapter 443.
5.3 In accordance with TEX. INS. CODE § 443.007(d), the Rehabilitator may provide notice of
any application by first class mail, electronic mail, or facsimile transmission, at his
discretion. Pursuant to TEX, INS. CODE § 443.007(e), parites who wish to object to the
application for Rehabilitator must file an objection within 20 days of filing the
application.
5.4 This
Agreed Order Appointing Rehabilitator and Permanent Injunction
does not
constitute a finding of Defendants' insolvency, nor an order of liquidation of Defendants.
5.5 The State of Texas and the Attorney General of Texas shall have a claim for reasonable
attorneys' fees and court costs pursuant to TEX. Ctv. PRAC. & REM. CODE §§ 64.051 and
66.003 and TEx. Gov'r CODE § 402.006, and the amount and payment of such claim are
subject to the provisions of TEX. INS. CODE Chapter 443.
5.6 Notice of the Plaintiff'
s petition and this order shall be provided to the insurance
Commissioners and insurance guaranty associations in the states in which Defendants did
business by first class mail or electronic communication pursuant to TEX. INS. CODE §
443.052(b).
5.7 Anyone over the age of 18 whom is not a party to nor interested in the outcome of this
suit may serve all citations, writs and notices in this cause.
5.8 All of the foregoing is subject to further orders of this Court.
Agreed Order
Appointing Rehabilitator and Permanent Injunction Page to
SIGNED at Austin, Travis County,
Texas, on this the
AGREED AS TO FORM AND SUBSTANCE:
By:
Jennifer S. JaclM,n
Assistant Attorney General
State BarNo. 24060004
Karen Pettigrew
Assistant Attorney General
State Bar No. 01529500
Financial Litigation Division
P.O. Box 12548
Austin, TX 78711-2548
(512) 475-4866 -Telephone
(512) 477-2348- Telecopier
Jennifer.Jacksonaoae state tz us
ATTORNEYS FOR PLAINTIFF THE STATE OF TEXAS
By: - 7^
Hector DeLeon
State Bar No. 05650800
De Leon, Boggins&Icenogle, P.C.
221 West 6th Street, Suite 1050
Austin, Texas 78701
Fax: (512) 482-8628
Voice: (512) 478-5308
ATTORNEY FOR DEFENDANTS
Agreed Order Appointing Rehabilitator
and Permanent Injunction Page I I
15 Thursday, 22 May 2008 15:22
Looks like they're going to get away with this...per the Chapter 11 Agreement...Texas agrees not to sue the Cassity's and about 50 other entities involved in this scam.

http://lincolnmemoriallife.com/LegalDocs.aspx (CLICK ON CHAPTER 11 AGREEMENT) if the link below doesn't work.

http://lincolnmemoriallife.com/documents/5-14-08%20Filed%20-%20Rule%2011.pdf
16 Friday, 23 May 2008 09:46
Tx has to bleed the cash out of the companies and trusts before liquidation which probably won't happen until the other states have had their shot at the mess. Agreeing not to sue the Cassity empire is not a good thing for the empire because it opens all of their affiliated accounts for examination and drainage. Not to mention the empire has to pay huge fees for the newly formed TDI legal team and a Master deathcare insurance lawyer. This is just in Texas. Imagine the other states that will have their respective actions in place when it comes to their turn. What a mess.
17 Friday, 23 May 2008 20:38
This operation crossed state lines, and should have the Federal Attorney General involved in this investigation. Are they?
18 Saturday, 24 May 2008 09:48
I know some of the information regarding NPS, If the money was wired from one bank to the trust bank for NPS, and the funeral home owner has reciepts that it was wired, how in the hell did the bank allow nps to take money out of the account. Most trusting institutions understand that it is the buyer or consumers money until they die not the funeral homes.

I think the Bank has a HUGE Liability here and I hope that ALL the reps, owners of NPS and the bank have to PAY ALL MONEY BACK NOW!!
19 Monday, 26 May 2008 21:41
Is this the iceberg that sinks the economy. ? Will the entire insurance related industry take a cue and raid their reserves leaving us all holding the bag while the so-called regulators look on idly staging coverups? We insure our properties, our health, and our lives and then the industry uses law to find fraud or create it to avoid payment of claims while the companies run off with our premiums to buy politicians.
20 Wednesday, 28 May 2008 09:35
These are just bad people. It doesn't bother them how many innocent people they have dragged into this mess as long as they get to keep all of the ill-gotten stuff. There are upwards of 300 lawyers filing briefs as we speak all over the nation for both sides. Not even Bill Gates has this kind of available cash to pay for these kinds of legal fees. Guess what? The government will have to pay these fees after NPS et al is found insolvent. At the same time the Cassitiys will be summering in Nantucket with the real rich people who actually earned their riches.

[Note to commentors from FCA: The quotation below is from Bill Stalter's blog, deathcarelaw.com. When quoting material from someone else's site, make it clear where the material came from. Also make sure you set off the material in quotation marks so it doesn't look like you've written it.]


"The Cassitys have a rearguard strategy after all.
The Texas Department of Insurance paid a price for gaining control of NPS and its sister insurance companies: A Rule 11 Agreement. Texas has agreed to not bring litigation against the companies, or various individuals and firms related to NPS. A very steep price, but one Texas may have felt it had to pay in order to gain control of the NPS/Lincoln records.
The $640 million question is who will pursue the Cassitys if the NPS cupboard turns out to be bare? "

What about the other states? Can they sue the Cassitys? Are they pursuing criminal charges? I'll bet they are. Tx would not have protected this criminal family unless they knew other states had the goods on them.
21 Saturday, 31 May 2008 16:05
"Read Forever Enterprises's 1998 prospectus on secinfo.com. Compare the dates and figures to the prospectus mentioned in the HIH, FAI propectus mentioned in the AIG scandal."
22 Monday, 02 June 2008 18:10
The are just a few of the entities that Texas has agreed not to sue. Why? Because TDI does biz with these guys...they're all intertwined with each other. Interestingly though, George Wise and Clifton Mitchell were once business partners. Clifton sued Wise and NPS over fraudulent deal made with Hannover Re..This is the same Hannover Re mentioned in the collapse of the HIH/FAI Australia's largest insurer. PLICA is "Professional Liability Insurance" this includes medical liability and every other kinda of liability insurance a business owner would need. SOOOO, do your homework. find out who you have your business insurance through because chances are the funds have gone oversees for investments. If you have a pending surgery..you may want to see if the surgeon has malpractice insurance. Why else would TDI include ALL the criminals as entities they won't sue.
23 Tuesday, 03 June 2008 18:20
http://www.ioc.state.il.us/Office/IOCNews/ViewNewsRelease.cfm?ID=1020889447 (not immune to receiverships)

http://www.cbpmagazine.com/article.php?articleid=64 (is marble considered "green"...in it's unnatural state?)

Is the "Forever Florida" program and "Memorial EcoSystems" part of this conglomerate? Do a search on the article below...look at all the resources.
(HOUSE COMMITTEE ON LAND AND RESOURCE MANAGEMENT TEXAS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES INTERIM REPORT 2004)

The Cassity Clan will turn the U.S. into another third world country and then live it up in Dubai...with all the other billionaires.
24 Tuesday, 10 June 2008 11:09
BETTER START LOOKING IN CALIFORNIA ALSO - DILDAY FUNERAL HOMES SPECIFICALLY - I HAD AN EXPERIENCE WITH THEM THAT SOUNDS LIKE THIS. FUNERAL NOT UP TO WHAT WE PAID FOR 14 YEARS PRIOR. COMPLETELY A MESS AND EMBARRASSING AT THE SAME TIME.
25 Saturday, 21 June 2008 19:09
What a shame !!!

I hope all the funeral home skirt chasers have to close their doors. God help the lustful and the greedy.
26 Thursday, 26 June 2008 08:24
What are the criminal charges that could come into play here? There has to be some sort of laundering scheme here or the Cassity family (Doug and Rhonda) wouldn't be living so extravagantly with multimillion dollar homes, apartments, townhomes, summer houses,(St. louis, Los Angeles, Nantucket, Naples Fl, Chesterfield, NYC and who knows where else) wildly expensive cars, private country clubs, vacations for them and the in-laws, according to their proclaimed income. I love how Spooner says in the KC article that "you're not going to see them buying jets, boats and throwing 5 million dollar parties" What restraint they have had! Given another couple of years they would have had a jet and a house in the Hamptons. It is greed and fancy stuff that got them noticed. Now what? Will they be charged with any criminal wrongdoings in any of the 19 states involved? I would bet that Doug or J.doug or J or J.D. or J Douglas or whatever name he goes by has figured out how to keep his stuff and not go back to jail. And what happened to the big Centrue Bank opening?
27 Thursday, 26 June 2008 11:35
How has the Cassity Family been affected to date by the scandel?
Has their lifestyle changed?
Can they go after their personal assets or not?
28 Monday, 07 July 2008 00:44
From the St. Louis ost Dispatch Classifieds:
"TAG SALE!!! National Prearranged Services has been placed into Rehabilitation, and the company is selling off most of the company assets. We are holding a tag sale on Tuesday, July 8 from 10:00a.m.-5:00p.m. at the company office located at 10 S. Brentwood, Clayton, MO 63105 on the 5th and 6th floors. Included in the sale will be high end furnishings such as executive desks/credenzas, leather chairs, sofas, armoires, plasma tvs, large screen monitors and patio furniture. We will also be selling wholesale furniture including desks, credenzas, file cabinets and chairs. Any questions, contact Derek Massey at (314)719-2239.
(last published: 07/07/2008) "
They haven't dipped into any, so called, personal money (or the money stolen from unsuspecting NPS clients and reinvested in the Cassity Family accounts), just yet. They are going to sell off the office furniture first. That may be enough ya think?
29 Friday, 11 July 2008 06:53
glad to hear that the cassity family is summering in Nantucket, still driving expensive cars,enjoying the finest private schools for their children, as well as a membership to the most expensive country club in Ladue Missouri.
30 Friday, 11 July 2008 06:58
new article in the St Louis Post Dispatch this week about the Tag Sale. Wednedsay edition Metro Section
31 Saturday, 12 July 2008 18:36
1. 1. A house on .18 of an acre at 18 Cliff Road sold to J. Douglas Cassity and Rhonda L. Cassity of Nantucket, Mass. from Denise L. Olsen of Nantucket, Mass. for $2,950,000. The property is assessed at $1,873,500. The land bank fee is 59,000.
32 Monday, 14 July 2008 14:33
How does a national Guarantor work? Does this get Cassity totally off the criminal hook or what?
This is interesting: from the Texas / South Central News

Texas Works With National Group to Help Customers of Failed Insurers

July 11, 2008

"The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) is working closely with the National Organization of Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Associations (NOLHGA) to protect consumers with insurance policies issued by Lincoln Memorial Life Insurance Company (Lincoln Memorial) and Memorial Service Life Insurance Company (Memorial Service).

Most of these insurance policies are related to pre-need funeral contracts purchased by consumers through National Prearranged Services Inc. (NPS). All three companies were placed in receivership in Texas on May 14, 2008.

"The goals of this consumer protection plan are pretty straightforward," said Texas Insurance Commissioner Mike Geeslin, who is the Receiver for the companies. "Consumers should get the benefit of the insurance policy they paid for, and funeral homes get paid from the insurance policy benefits when they provide burial services to the consumer. I would like to commend NOHLGA and its member guaranty associations for stepping forward to help protect consumers in this matter."

"NOLHGA and its member guaranty associations have been working very closely with the Texas Department of Insurance on the plan," said NOLHGA President Peter Gallanis, noting that Lincoln Memorial and Memorial Service have more than 200,000 insureds residing in all 50 states.

It is anticipated that the consumer protection plan will be filed with the Texas receivership court later this summer.

The Receiver has contracted with Donna Garrett to serve as Special Deputy Receiver (SDR) of Lincoln Memorial, Memorial Service and NPS.

Source: Texas Department of Insurance, www.tdi.state.tx.us"
33 Friday, 25 July 2008 11:28
Read this from the saint louis post dispatch:

http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/business/stories.nsf/story/56E56BDA8A8EADB7862574900007978D?OpenDocument
34 Friday, 25 July 2008 22:04
Funeral Cost remains of NPS picked over. As Funeral homes pay for this your cost goes up.

NPS- National Prearrange Services- Funeral Cost Scandal hits 500 Million. Here is a quote from a recent article on Funeral Cost. “The FBI is interested. Funeral homes across the nation wonder if they will be forced to pay for tens of thousands of funerals. Authorities are tracing the various fates of $500 million in prepaid funeral funds.”

More importantly as Funeral homes pay for this your cost goes up.

http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/stlouiscitycounty/story/3F4D6DC2E8D284FC862574810011E33E?OpenDocument

Again the lesson here it is do not do preneed. Preplan but do not prepay. No matter what is said a low cost or lower cost funeral cannot be done by prepaying a funeral director
So what will be the fate of the Cassitys and the Cassity family trust? I think a lot of people are waiting and watching to see what happens.
35 Saturday, 26 July 2008 18:39
Beleaguered NPS/Lincoln Shuts Down



ST. LOUIS - NPS/Lincoln Memorial Life has shut down its operations, according to a company account representative who told Kates-Boylston Publications that owner Brent Cassity broke the news during an employees-only conference call on April 5.

Between 50 and 60 sales representatives were let go during the call. An NPS insider who declined to be identified by name said the move was in response to the Texas Department of Insurance’s order to Lincoln to stop writing new business.

The good news for funeral home owners is that the Texas Department of Insurance — which has taken the lead role among the states investigating the company — announced April 9 that it, along with the Texas Department of Banking, is forcing NPS/Lincoln to “establish a plan to pay policyholder claims and to address existing contracts.”

Under the Texas order, NPS must also remove itself as the policy beneficiary on its Texas contracts, a practice the company is said to have used on a regular basis. But the bad news is that NPS/Lincoln will only pay face amounts going forward. Further, Kates-Boylston has learned that Lincoln never issued policies to some of its funeral home clients. Instead, it offered paid-in-full certificates.

Tom Riperda of Educational Concepts Unlimited, an insurance training firm in Belleville, Ill., noted that the business arrangement doesn’t bode well for funeral directors because it means NPS is probably the beneficiary of policies, not the funeral homes.

No Policies, Just Certificates

So far, no funeral directors have come forward claiming that NPS has failed to pay up. “We’ve had several claims with them since this started going down, and we’ve been paid in a very timely manner,” said Dave Searby, owner of Searby Funeral Home in DuQuoin, Ill. Searby even said he’s gotten full growth points.

However, 234 funeral homes recently sent a letter to Cassity to complain about the missing policies. “There is a concern that the funeral directors, who are licensed insurance producers, completed Lincoln Memorial Life Insurance applications to fund the prearrangements but have never seen a policy,” the Jan. 11 letter reads. “When one funeral director phoned the Illinois Insurance Board to inquire if the policies were backed by the Illinois Life and Health Guarantee Association, he was told to check the policy,” the letter goes on. “All the funeral homes have are ‘Paid in Full Certificates.’ It is also a concern that when another funeral director requested a copy of the policy, one was sent but it was incomplete and World Service Life Insurance Company of America was the company name on the policy, not Lincoln Memorial Life Insurance Company.”

Cassity did not respond to interview requests in time for publication.

A source close to the company said the certificates are essentially worthless. “You and I could do up a paid in full certificate on a computer,” the source, who asked not to be named, said. “It means nothing.”

So bad is the situation that even some of the companies’ most loyal employees are now feeling hurt. “I feel taken advantage of,” said Danielle Grace, a former NPS account executive who left the company last December.

“My funeral homes put their trust in me,” Grace continued. “They did business in good faith with me, and I turned around and did business in good faith with NPS. I feel that NPS owners and management weren’t honest with us. In fact, I know they weren’t. I feel a huge sense of loyalty to the funeral home owners who are left wondering what is going to happen and what to do next. It’s truly an unfortunate situation for them. This is their future.”
36 Friday, 26 September 2008 11:50
This whole scandal is less than funny, but at the same time, I laugh in the faces of those involved. As a former employee of Forever, (the name of the funeral homes and cemeteries owned by the Cassidy’s) I saw this coming. Lavish spending.....unrealistic promises.....and those weekly meetings to brag about how "we" were taking down the competition. I guess taking down the competition meant bankrupting the competition by leaving them to fork out the funds to cover funerals of those who preplanned.
I guess I just don't understand..... If the common Joe goes out and files for bankrupsy protection, it is made clear that there is no way making losses from illegal activity go away, yet the Cassidy’s are filing for protection for NPS? How? They took the money, isn't that an illegal activity? Secondly, the Cassidy’s own some of the most lavish properties, both for business and personal use.....why are these properties not seized NOW, and sold off to help the funeral homes that will be ultimately devastated by financial losses they will incur, thanks to the Cassidy’s? (Christ knows how hard they worked to buy back the shares of the corporation back in 2000 -2001 so that they could take complete control of the businesses and not have to share their information with anyone! I was there. I questioned. I was fired immediately!) I wish I could say that they were alone, but they are not. There are other funeral homes out there living off the money that people have put aside to cover their final expenses, and get away with it. Let's face it folks....... The one's with the money are the ones who win. If I were the betting type...... I would say the next St. Louis funeral scandal will involve an old name that has funeral homes in North County, Chesterfield and St. Peters. Their name sounds much like the way they treat their families, like butt holes! This family spent thousands to reclaim sales tax from the state, claiming burial vaults should not be taxed, yet how many families who paid sales tax received a refund from them? It is no longer a compassionate profession to many of these funeral homes. It is an opportunity to take advantage of people during an uncomfortable time. Buyer beware! Ask questions, and as ghoulish as it sounds, shop around. There are still funeral homes out there that want to take the time to help you understand, help you spend wisely, and genuinely care about you and your family. Sometimes the old saying, “the bigger they are, the harder they fall”, proves itself to be true. The questions I always tell people to ask their funeral director is: “ Who owns the funeral home? Where did the owner(s) graduate mortuary school? How many other businesses do they own?” These three simple questions will answer the real question of; “how dedicated is this funeral home?” None of the Cassidy’s are mortuary school graduates. Funerals just happen to be a quick easy way to the money needed to support their lavish lifestyle, but in their defense, they aren’t the only ones that have figured this out! My purpose and intent of getting into the funeral business 24 years ago has been negatively overshadowed in the past 10 years by funeral home owners like this. I take responsibility for allowing my own morals to be warped by employers such as this, but am proud that I have taken the action to place myself into an honest facility that still believes in tradition and honesty. I hope that in the near future I can extend one piece of advise to the Cassidy family (and the other family mentioned), and that advise would be; “don’t drop the soap!”
37 Friday, 26 September 2008 12:36
Hillary & Thomas, You are both right in your points. As a former employee of NPS & Forever, there was a great deal of attention paid to how the representatives of NPS looked. (and as I commented at one convention, the trashier, the better). But the problem was in the forms and agreements. Everyone had a different agreement based on how many funeral services an individual funeral home was doing. Some of the wording was so vague (aimed at older, more honest funeral home owners) and then the agreements that were written like a 40 volume tax law books, created to confuse anyone. For the most part, funeral home owners should have been researching what they were getting involved with, but as this thing unveils itself, any research that could have been done would have only ended up with someone involved in the scandal itself.
The Cassidy's are not stupid people. They have successfully operated one of the biggest money laundering scams for years and years. Not all funeral home owners & managers are horny old coots looking for a booty shot by their pre-need representative.....most of them were taking the word of a well trained scam artist accomplice. (sorry to all of you that are offended by that, but in hindsight, you must realize it now that you were only given the information that you needed to sell the product, right?) Most of these sales representatives were completely clueless of the bigger picture, but then again, many of them had serious doubts, but never questioned them. We would all love to think that we live in the trusting world of the Walton’s family, but we don’t. The Cassidy’s are vial, self promoting crooks, that prey on unsuspecting individuals, whether it be clients or employees. They will build you up and make you believe, then drop you like a rock if you ever question. Many of us (former employees of the Cassidy’s) still stay in touch and talk about all the things that were going on right under our noses, and we had no clue. All I can say is that if I was your rep, I’m sorry. I have lost many nights of sleep knowing that I played a role in all of this, not on purpose, but nevertheless, I helped them basically make millions and screw a lot of people. (not that it even compares, but I never received my last paycheck and found out that my insurance had been cancelled three months prior to me leaving the company). Let’s not argue and point fingers at each other. Let’s make the Cassidy’s answer for their wrong doings. We are all in this together. We owe it to the families that we serve, to move forward from this and be wiser next time! Short skirts or not...... Never trust the words being said............research, question, and use that God given gift of intuition!
38 Wednesday, 15 October 2008 23:25
The right agency should check on Virgina Grimshaw who did all of the Casidies investments for the business. She would know where the money is. She was vice president of Kane and kane was their investment company. She would invest the business money for Casidy.
39 Thursday, 13 November 2008 12:51
Small Funeral Firm Owner
I am a co-owner along with my husband of a small funeral firm in Texas. We purchased the Company from my in-laws in April of this year. And shortly after we signed on the "dotted line" we learned of the horrific financial state of NPS. My husband and I have worked at our small family owned funeral home for 15 years and my husband sold NPS pre-need contracts for 7 years. Our NPS rep came in one day and presented this product to my husband, and after reviewing the information she gave him he decided to begin selling for NPS along with the other pre-need company he was currently selling for. We have 14 unpaid claims to date and are in the process of working with the receivership entity in getting these claims funded. We certainly do not expect to ever get any growth on these contracts which my husband sold in good faith; believing that he was selling a solid product to his customer. However, I am a bit angry about the lack of empathy for people like us who sold these contracts and will incur great losses throughout our future years in business. If we cannot keep our doors open, so to speak, what happens to those consumers who purchased these contracts? Another funeral home has no legal obligation to accept the NPS contracts we sold in house here at our funeral home, and quite frankly; why in the world would they? My husband's approach to selling pre-need contracts was never aggressive (such as sending mail outs or hiring someone to go door to door); he simply sold contracts to consumers who walked into our office or called wanting to purchase a pre-paid funeral contract. Surprisingly, he has sold many over the years. Not just NPS, however he has sold enough NPS contracts to cause us incredible current financial strain as well as future financial strain. I am, of course, extremely sorry for those consumers who purchased these contracts. However, at this point, our 14 families with NPS claims received the funeral they paid for without any problems. We, on the other hand, are still waiting for these claims to be funded. The funds we are waiting for regarding these claims (just the face value of the policies) is approximately $84,000.00. Did I mention we just purchased this company in April and are a somewhat small funeral firm? ENOUGH SAID.
40 Wednesday, 19 November 2008 01:01
Follow the Money
Tonight on KSDK news statiion in St Louis Mike Owen a reporter just ran a story about the NPS situation. It does not look good for the Cassity family. They showed their million plus home in St Louis with a Hummer parked in front. you can read the artiicle if interested by going to the website and there is a space for comments.
they are saying 330 million unaccounted for funds in Texas to be exact.
Very interesting is all i can say.
41 Tuesday, 02 December 2008 02:36
ACK
A COSTLY GOOGLE SEARCH "Still Crazy After All These Years" would certainly apply to Nantucket's real estate market.

For the first six months of 2005, total sales were 23 percent ahead of last year, totaling $616 million. The winner among this year's big spenders: Google's chief executive, Eric E. Schmidt, whose holding company paid north of $16 million for a property that overlooks the Nantucket harbor.

Mr. Schmidt declined to comment, but the seller, Doug Cassity, whose wife's construction company remodeled much of the home, said of the transaction: "It was kind of secretive. We met in parking lots and stuff. I guess Eric Schmidt didn't want people to know he was buying. He thought the price might go up."

Mr. Cassity said his wife, Rhonda, was proud of the sale. "The house doesn't have a swimming pool," Mr. Cassity said. "It's not on the water, and has no acreage. She is in the construction business and she had basically built it. It wasn't even on the market when she got a call."

what will happen to these properities or the profits made off of them?
42 Friday, 30 January 2009 09:17
Bud Fox
Might want to look at centrue bank
how can someone being investigated by the FBI be on the board of a bank?
Also check www.ksdk.com web site. St Louis reporter Mike Owens has been investigating NPS. However, the question still remains
where did the funds go? and how is the Cassity family still able to live the lavish lifestyle? Nothing has changed in their lives but yet 330 million dollars is still unaccounted for? I would like to see justice in the wake of the economic times we are in right now I hope that people are doing everything in their power to get some type of justice.
43 Thursday, 26 March 2009 14:29
Curious George
What is the status on NPS and Forever? Are they still being investigated or has everything been dropped? I am curious to see what is being done by the State to bring this case to justice?
44 Friday, 10 April 2009 13:44
TALLEN
I ALSO AM CURIOUS ABOUT THE STATUS OF NPS?
HAS THE INVESTIGATION STOPPED?
SO WHAT ABOUT THE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS THAT CANNOT SEEM TO BE FOUND OR TRACED?
I JUST FIND IT ODD THAT WE HAVE NOT HEARD ANY UPDATES IN MONTHS ABOUT THIS.
HAS THE CASSITY FAMILY OR THE RBT TRUST HAD TO ACCOUNT FOR ANY OF THE FUNDS OR NOT ARE LAWSUITS PENDING AGAINST THE CASSITY FAMILY OR THE FAMILY TRUST.
THERE ARE A LOT OF INTERESTED CONSUMERS AND OPERATORS WHO ARE WAITING FOR ANSWERS.
45 Tuesday, 16 June 2009 11:22
Deborah
Mike Owens a reporter for NBC in St Louis i heard did a story for for the news station there. I heard he did two reports but i am not sure what is going on.
I would think most operators would be curious since there this happened over a year ago.
I am assuming that the Cassity family has not been affected like the operators have, I am sure they still have all their homes in Florida,Nantucket and obviously feel no need to curtail their lavish lifestyles.
I would like to see Rick Alm do a follow up story. He did a great job covering the Forever and NPS when the story broke. I think any interested operators and consumers should email Rick at the Kansas City Star and let him know we want answers. It is up to the American public to DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY
46 Tuesday, 16 June 2009 11:31
Gordon Geiko
A company news release posted in February on FuneralWire.com said National Prearranged Services served 2,600 funeral homes and paid a total of $300 million in death claims.

Donna Garrett, the person appointed to administer the companies after their failure, said Wednesday that she was aware of the FBI investigation but had not seen the letter. She said National Prearranged Services had done business in 43 states and the District of Columbia.

National Prearranged Services had 158,153 active preneed funeral contracts valued at nearly $662 million, Garrett said.

Two of its largest sales-volume states were Missouri and Texas, which combined accounted for more than 110,000 customer contracts valued around $335 million, officials in the two states said Wednesday. Figures from other states were not immediately available.

"There are going to be some funeral homes that are in severe financial difficulty, and we might even have some that go out of business, particularly if they had a large number of NPS claims and if those NPS claims come due in a relatively narrow time frame," said Don Otto, executive director of the Missouri Funeral Directors Association.

St. Louis County funeral home owner Jim Buchholz said an FBI agent interviewed him in June about National Prearranged Services and told him that he was the first Missouri funeral home owner contacted as part of the investigation.

"Their big thing was they wanted to find out if we had anything (documented) where it said how much interest we would get if our stuff was rolled over" to National Prearranged Services, said Buchholz, owner of Buchholz Mortuaries.
47 Wednesday, 08 July 2009 20:39
Lars
Regulators and congress are outraged and appalled, as they always are, at the enormity and longevity of the Madoff ponzi scam. Despite the fact that for years the writing was on the wall, with flashing strobe lights, and at times right in their hands, somehow it was overlooked that Madoff was delivering miraculous returns, using a "trading strategy" that in no way could generate returns of that magnitude for long periods of time in various economic environments, and the auditor of this multi-billion fund was a one-man shop in a strip mall. Huh? I could go on and on, but Madoff is not my point.

The ponzi that should be in the spotlight involves a maze of intertwined companies under the umbrella of Missouri-based National Prearranged Services, including Lincoln Memorial Life Insurance Co. and Memorial Services Life Insurance Co., which was relatively quietly forced into liquidation in March 08. Unfamiliar...here's a thumbnail sketch...

NPS sold pre-need funeral contracts through funeral homes in 19 states, over 200,000 contracts nationwide. The pitch is to pre-pay funeral expenses at today's prices and avoid higher inflation adjusted prices later. What did my grandma always say...when it seems to good to be true, it probably is...then she would promptly box my ears for failing to see the obvious.

In a perfect world, NPS would take a percentage of the pre-paid funds and place them in a trust, which is used to buy a whole life insurance policy on the contract holder, which generates interest. When you die, NPS pays the funeral expenses within 24 hours and are reimbursed from cashing out the life insurance policy with interest. The insurance policies are, of course, purchased from their sister companies, Lincoln Memorial and Memorial Services. Keeping it all in the family...

In an imperfect world, a/k/a reality, NPS allows the insurance policies to lapse or cancels the whole life to buy a cheaper, non-interest bearing term-life policy. When you die, they "honor" the old contract with proceeds from new contracts sold. No harm, no foul. Except that you cannot sustain this model, it is illegal and is by any definition a classic ponzi! Aside from the fact that the percentage they are required to put into trust varies by state, with Missouri law allowing NPS to keep 20% of funds in commissions, and of course keep the interest. From the get go, a $10,000 contract is really worth $8,000, allowing consumers the privilege of paying $2,000 in inflation protection. I can feel my grandma's hands coming...

But, like Madoff, NPS operated with a relatively deaf ear from regulators. With it's various businesses...insurance, cemeteries, funeral homes...it fell into one of those gray, murky areas of oversight...insurance? funeral industry? contract law? Like a quick game of hot potato...don't be the last to hold it, or you are the state agency forced to do your job!

NPS was poison from inception. Founded in 1979 by James Douglas Cassity, a disbarred Springfield, MO attorney who served time in federal prison in the early 80's for an unrelated tax shelter fraud. His name rarely appears, instead placing the ownership interests of all of the kissing cousins in various Cassity family trusts and other family members.

FIRST FLASHING STROBE LIGHT
In 1992, the attorney general of MO began investigating NPS, resulting 8 years later in a 2000 court ruling which scolded NPS and told them to tighten up their financial records and make sure proper coverage is in place, with no further or ongoing regulatory monitoring guidelines.

SECOND FLASHING STROBE LIGHT
In 2005, under the cleverly named "Operation Grave Concern", the MO attorney general targeted funeral homes and pre-need contract sellers. A handful funeral directors and contract sellers were charged, and NPS, the godfather of pre-need contract fraud, was harshly scolded for failing to ensure proper coverage in relation to one charged funeral director, and paid an out of court settlement of $10,000 and once again agreed to tighten their financial records, with no further or ongoing regulatory monitoring guidelines.

MORE SPOTLIGHTSIt apparently was not important that according to the National Institute of Money & Politics, NPS ranked in the top 10 funeral industry lobbyists and political contributors, giving around $109,000, much to none other than MO attorney general Jay Nixon and MO governor Matt Blunt. It almost feels like I'm talking about Illinois! Where's Blago when you need him...

RESULT
In March 08, Texas forced NPS into liquidation, as the two primary insurance companies were headquartered there, noting that the businesses were "inextricably intertwined". Not surprisingly, the Chap. 11 agreement personally exempts the Cassity's and about 50 other entities, including the Nantucket home that Doug Cassity sold last year for over $16M to Google CEO Eric E. Schmidt. In receivership, the unfortunate individual appointed to try to unravel this mess has stated that NPS will honor the existing contracts, but does not state at what value, and the payout will come no later than 60 days of filing the claim. 60 days! That's not much solace for the family who is forced to pony up thousands now for the at-need funeral they believed was paid for in advance, with the pat on the head that they will receive some to all of that money back within 60 days.

Several states, including Iowa, Texas, Missouri, Kentucky and Ohio are investigating, as is the FBI, who preliminarily have stated the loss at around $500,000,000. And various knee-jerk, sloppy and reactionary pieces of legislation have been proposed, with all of them failing to pass.

And the sordid story continues today...with no conclusion and little to no press coverage. At least they weren't deemed too big to fail.
48 Saturday, 25 July 2009 08:39
bernie
Such Greed.. According to this they had a fairly good idea what was going on with NPS and Forever.


TWST: How large are your revenues?

Mr. Cassity: We’re about $11 1/2 million to $12 million this year. Let me make a comparison there. If you take SCI, Service Corporation International, their average cemetery is about 800 to 1,000 burials. They average about $1.7 million in revenues. If you take our 1,000 burials, we average about $11 1/2 million. Another important point is we collect about 40%- 45% cash down on our pre-need cemetery and funeral sales which is about 2-3 times more than our competitors in our business. So even though we’re smaller, we can play in the market a lot bigger with SCI or Stewart just because we’re definitely coming at it from a different angle.

TWST: Do these other two companies that you just mentioned do anything similar?

Mr. Cassity: No, they don’t. If you look at just the name of Service Corporation International, their strategy was to buy as many funeral homes and cemeteries as they could as an acquisition company. They weren’t really focused on the operation side of what they needed to do, and how and what the market was changing to and from. They never put themselves in a position to be able to create a certain type of brand of service. So our brand is Forever. Each time we go to a new location the Forever brand is incorporated into the name — Hollywood is now Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Bellerive Forever Cemetery, Mt. Washington Forever Cemetery. So the daughter who is on the Internet site at Forevernetwork.com in Dallas, Texas, calls up her mom’s biography site in Kansas City (if we then have a cemetery in Dallas or whatever Forever Cemetery), then the Forever connection is made. That’s really what we’re looking for. You brought up the point that it doesn’t necessarily surround itself around the cemetery, and we basically are looking to be the biographers of the nation for not just the nationally or internationally famous, but for the people who are “famous” to their families and friends, the people who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity for this service. We want to be able to do that for them.
49 Monday, 27 July 2009 08:49
debbie
I am amazed that people can accuse others without knowing the facts
50 Thursday, 06 August 2009 00:12
Darius
"debbie"
to make a statement like that and not be able to back it up makes me feel that you are either a family member or a close friend of the individuals involved.
Then tell us the "facts"
Seems a bit strange that there are not any facts or for that matter the employees of Forever going public to say what a wonderful honorable company forever was.
Seems as if those people are out of jobs.
I think there are a lot of questions the public has to the owners of Forever.
51 Monday, 10 August 2009 08:38
steve
http://www.naturalburial.coop/2005/08/29/the-shroud-of-marin-letter-from-california/

great article
52 Monday, 10 August 2009 08:41
small funeral home owner
Clayton-based funeral services company sued for $600 mil
By Todd C. Frankel
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
08/07/2009

ST. LOUIS — The long fight to recover $600 million from a once-high-flying funeral services company based in Clayton took another step Thursday.

A federal lawsuit was filed alleging the Cassity family of St. Louis "preyed on consumers and funeral homes to perpetuate a multimillion-dollar, nationwide scheme from the sale of 'pre-need' funeral services and merchandise."

The suit seeks to recover costs expended by the plaintiffs — seven state insurance guaranty companies, including in Missouri and Illinois, which have stepped into the void to honor most of the pre-need contracts.

Consumers typically bought the NPS contracts to lock in rates for funerals later. NPS then used life insurance policies to pay for the funeral costs.


The Cassity family controlled several funeral-industry companies, including Forever Enterprises, National Prearranged Services (NPS), Lincoln Memorial Life Insurance Company and Memorial Service Life Insurance Company. NPS and Forever were headquartered on Brentwood Boulevard, across from Shaw Park.

Last year, NPS and the life insurance companies ran out of money, leaving in limbo an estimated 150,000 pre-paid funeral service contracts spread out across the nation. State regulators in Texas, where the insurance companies were nominally based, seized control of the companies. A state-appointed special receiver took over to figure out where the money went.
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While the Cassitys at first denied any wrongdoing and cooperated with regulators, "after a brief period of time, it became clear a lawsuit was the best alternative" to figuring out what happened, said attorney Larry Pozner, with the Denver law firm that filed Thursday's lawsuit in Missouri's eastern federal district.

"We are seeking hundreds of millions of dollars that seems to be missing," Pozner said.

Similar lawsuits against the Cassitys filed by individual funeral homes have been stayed by judges pending the outcome of this most recent filing.

So far, the guaranty funds have paid the pre-need contracts, which funeral homes were obliged to honor despite NPS' demise.

"Without the guaranty funds, there would be no funeral homes in Missouri," said Connie James with James & Gahr Mortuaries in St. James, Mo. "The guaranty funds has been paying the bills, thank God."

The lawsuit seeks damages from the Cassity family, former high-level NPS officials and several banks and trusts that were supposed to monitor the disbursement of the pre-need funeral funds. Family members could not be located for comment.

At the heart of the matter is a secretive Cassity family trust, RBT Trust II. Some believe any missing funds could be hidden in the account.

Pozner pointed out that a lawsuit is one way to "pierce the veil" of a family trust and see its financial records.
53 Tuesday, 11 August 2009 16:13
lee
The question still remains can they go after the cassity family?
I am sure that Mr. Sutton will be the one to answer all the questions the feds have to answer in exchange for a deal. Hopefully it will not take long and there will be some sort of justice for all the families out there who have lost money and trust when their loved ones passed on. I wish someone would update this site for the current news and not news that is over a year old.
54 Thursday, 13 August 2009 07:49
steven speilberg
This is a huge story! It has the makings of a great movie. In the front half of the movie you have 1 billion dollars, fancy cars, unbelievable residences, exclusive club memberships, very private schools, pretentious vacations, expensive clothes and jewelry, Hollywood-like characters, and in the back half of the movie you have pocketed politicians, smarmy executives, trashy sales force, various disbarred and crooked lawyers, investment advisors on the take, secret Cassity family trusts, and in the lead role: a generation of elderly people who gave the Cassity family their life savings to insure a proper burial upon their deaths. How sick is this?
55 Wednesday, 02 September 2009 12:08
Justin
What will happen to the Cassity Family? Why was Mr Sutton arrested and none of the Cassitys were that own this greedy empire? I would think if Brent Cassity was the CEO of the company along with his brother Tyler that their involvement is equal or worse than the CFO's? I hope someone out there can answer these questions and let us know what is the latest developments in this case
56 Sunday, 06 September 2009 18:07
Bernard
What is going on with NPS and the Cassity family. Are they involved or are they not?
Can they get off or not?
57 Monday, 21 September 2009 11:12
Carlton
The Cassity family should have to pay back every single person they ripped off.
its sad that they are still able to walk around the city they live in and feel no remorse for what their company has done. Brent Cassity was president of this company and he let down his employees and every individual who purchased a pre-paid funeral plan.
I feel Mr. Cassity is responsible for what happened. The CFO worked for him. He has no excuse for what he did and he needs to give everything back he has taken and if everything is spent or invested he needs to end up with ZERO, that is the only way he can possibly pay back its all greed and self-centered egos that drive this family.
58 Monday, 21 September 2009 11:25
The Green Guy
Tyler Cassity is sitting in his tower office at Hollywood Forever, with an occasional visit to Fernwood in Marin County, driving one of his matching BMW 650s. Nothing has changed isuy right--the Cassity family is as dishonest and arrogant as ever.

Upset wrote:
"Nothing has changed as far as the consumer is concerned," Hahahahaha! Thats a lie!!!! People better get mad and check on their pre paid funeral plans! Where are the Cassity's???? No one seems to care they have not been arrested! This guy served time in the fed pen in the early 80's and all lawmakers let him continue his shady buniness! Why? Because they gave lots and lots of money to them! Hope all you funeral directors that did business with them enjoyed the NPS chicks and mini vacations on your grieving families $$$$$$!!!!
59 Monday, 21 September 2009 11:30
green guy
The lawsuit lists personal enrichment for various defendants--

"The RICO Defendants used the ill-gotten funds for a variety of improper
purposes, including to personally enrich themselves. For example, within the past five years, NPS paid the following personal credit card and other expenses of some of the RICO
Defendants:
a) $3,003,649 for Defendant Doug Cassity’s credit card bills;
b) $2,707,833 for Defendant Randall Sutton’s credit card bills;
c) $1,010,375 for Defendant Tyler Cassity’s credit card bills;
d) $542,437 for Defendant Brent Cassity’s and his wife’s credit card bills;
e) $502,419 for Defendant Jim Crawford’s credit card bills;
f) $463,472 in direct, non-salary payments to Defendant Randy Singer; and
g) $146,521 for Defendant Tony Lumpkin’s credit card bills."
60 Saturday, 10 October 2009 12:47
Joe
Brent and I went to high school together and he and his phony friends made fun of me for the way I looked and the fact that my parents were middle-class hard working folks. His arrogance and ego got the best of him. It is now my turn to watch him fall from status and possibly jailtime. Good luck Brent . . . do you remember the guy you made fun of every day? it is me.
61 Thursday, 15 October 2009 18:34
Allen
KSDK -- The president of a company specializing in prearranged funeral services was indicted Thursday on mail fraud charges for allegedly participating in a multi-million dollar fraud scheme.

The defendant, Sharon Nekol Province of Ballwin, served as President of National Prearranged Services, Vice-President of Lincoln Memorial Services, Inc., and Director of Professional Liability Insurance Company of America (PLICA). Clients of National Prearranged Services (NPS) either purchased funeral services directly from the company of from funeral homes, who in turn purchased the services from NPS.

NPS would then purchase life insurance policies in order to fund the funerals when those customers died.

According to the indictment, beginning in 1998 and continuing through 2008, Province and a co-conspirator, identified as 63-year-old Randall Sutton, defrauded customers, states' guaranty funds, and funeral homes doing business with NPS.

Province, 65, was indicted on five counts of mail fraud. She's expected to appear in court early next week.

Meanwhile, Sutton was indicted in August on six counts of mail fraud, one count of money laundering, and two counts of wire fraud.

If convicted, each count of mail and wire fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000. The money laundering charges carry a sentence of 10 years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000. Restitution will be mandatory for the defendants.


KSDK
62 Monday, 23 November 2009 01:39
Sylvester
Interesting read found this online, have not heard much lately in the news. Wondering if anyone knows what is going on?

Cheating Death at National Prearranged Services
2009 OCTOBER 19

by cmargulis
It is said that the only death and taxes are inevitable. But at funeral services giant National Prearranged Services, it appears that fraud was also a sure thing. The company is charged by federal authorities with running an intricate Ponzi scheme to the tune of at least $600 million.

A lawyer defending the company claimed that his clients never missed a payout – until state regulators in Texas seized the company and stopped new sales. In other words, National Prearranged Services payouts were not from real earnings but from later investors – the classic definition of a Ponzi scheme.


The NPS "Forever Fernwood" eco-cemetery in Mill Valley, California

National Prearranged Services (NPS, along with its affiliated companies, Lincoln Memorial Life Insurance, Memorial Service Life Insurance, their “brand” name Forever Enterprises, and numerous other corporate entities in dozens of states) specialized in selling pre-paid funeral services: buyers pay upfront for their funeral costs, in order to spare their families the financial burden when they die. Companies like NPS are required to hold most or all of the value of the contract in trust, and the trusts are permitted to invest in secure, interest-bearing financial instruments that increase in value to keep up with inflation.

Regulators charge that NPS and its affiliates cashed-out these investments and charged “high commissions and marketing fees,” cheating policyholders, small funeral homes, state agencies and associated business partners. The federal lawsuit charges that consumers, small funeral homes and state agencies are out $600 million, although Texas regulators say the combined companies’ “negative net worth” is almost $1 billion.

NPS and its affiliates are owned and/or controlled by the Cassity family of St. Louis, celebrities in the death-care industry. Scion Doug Cassity and his two sons, Brent and Tyler were featured in an HBO documentary, “The Young and The Dead,” about reviving a Hollywood cemetery; one of the boys consulted on the hit TV series “Eight Feet Under.” A “Life Stories” project aimed to make cemeteries into places where the bereaved could view short videos of their departed loved ones. Their Marin County California “eco-friendly” cemetery was featured in the New York Times, the New Yorker magazine, and the ABC News show Nightline.

In the 1970’s, Doug Cassity was a well-known lawyer who ran an “investment club” that attracted local doctors. But by the early 1980’s the money was gone and the club was exposed as an intricate fraud, landing Cassity 6-months jail time for conspiracy and tax-fraud (he was also disbarred).

So far, criminal indictments on charges of mail fraud, money laundering, and wire fraud have been filed against NPS President Sharon Nekol Province and Chief Financial Officer Randall Sutton. Meanwhile, over a 5-year period, NPS accounting shows the company made the following payments for the personal credit cards of:

Doug Cassity: $3,003,649
Tyler Cassity: $1,010,375
Brent Cassity (and his wife): $542,437
Randall Sutton: $2,707,833
On paper, Doug Cassity appears to be broke, holding no assets in his name. Nonetheless he continues to reside in a mansion in the upscale St. Louis suburb Ladue, Missouri. Cassity also owns a $3.4 million, Gulf-view condo in Naples, Florida and, until recently, owned a Nantucket Island vacation home; he sold it for $16 million to Google CEO Eric Schmidt last year. According to local regulators in Springfield, MO, he owes almost $250,000 in unpaid electric bills relating his late 1970’s business operations.

While policy holders and small funeral homes are out hundreds of millions of dollars, the NPS bankruptcy agreement with Texas regulators exempts the Cassity family’s personal wealth and about 50 other of their business entities from liquidation.
63 Wednesday, 16 December 2009 11:15
Betty
With 2009 coming to a close I along with many others wonder what is going on.
It seems as if the whole thing has been forgotten?
64 Sunday, 07 February 2010 15:13
Sammye Wehmeyer Rosenlund
I was a director of sales for the first funeral home NPS bought in Texas in 1985. I wrote the first preneed trust contract when they promoted me and transferred me to Abilene, Tx.
I assured everyone I wrote that we were insured by the FDIC and Insurance departent. I felt like their preneeds were 100% safe unless America crashed.
It is still a great thing to do to prearrange all of the funerals plans and lock the price in and is a gift of love to the family. I never ever thought NPS would do anything illegal or go under.'
This is caused a few funeral homes to go bankrupt and has and is hurting many more . I hate thisso bad. I will say 98 % of the preneeds I wrote 25 years ago has been claimed by now. But this looks bad to all preneed companies and funeral homes. I still write preneeds because they are so helpful to the loved ones at the time of a death.
I don't think most preneed sales counselors have ever knowinly done anything to hurt people.
65 Tuesday, 30 March 2010 09:27
Simon
I have not seen anything in the news lately about the Cassity Family or NPS or the billion dollar indictment? It would be nice for some of us who got ripped off by these pre-need plans to see some press on this.Any idea where the case stands?
66 Thursday, 13 May 2010 16:41
Silvia
So when does the case come to trial?
67 Thursday, 15 July 2010 15:28
Bob Burns
Company was in the boys name since they where kids so Doug could not be held accountable.
Here is another person that was involved with this company.

http://roybradbury.com/community_service.html
68 Tuesday, 20 July 2010 16:11
Kasey Stinnett
I am in complete ah at the thought that this people could take all these innocent people with no thought at all to what they were doing. Is it really possible for so many people in this world to walk around with such cold hearts and no consciences what so ever??? While these people (Cassidy's) are living in huge mansion's and driving nice cars and going on vacations to their vacation homes in the Bahamas, the real hard working families are the ones that are suffering. Let's take for instant the situation that my grandparent's are in. They purchased the policies from Mount Washington Forever Inc. in Independence, MO. It was so hard on them to come up with the money that had to for the services and then was told a hand full of different stories. It is just so sad to me. My grandparents don't even have the money to have a/c in the house during the summers but these people take their money and others and have all the heart can desire. I just hope they know that one day they will have to meet their maker and judgment day will come. Lord have mercy on their souls.
69 Tuesday, 20 July 2010 19:16
thomas
ST. LOUIS • The topic in the federal courtroom on Wednesday was money, specifically what happened to $600 million and whether a federal judge should be watchful to make sure even more money doesn't go missing.

"No one disputes that the money is gone," attorney Daniel Reilly told the federal judge. "But the defendants never say where that money went."

The defendants in this case were the Cassity family, owners of a once-celebrated funeral services company in Clayton and a web of affiliated companies. They ran National Prearranged Services and Forever Enterprises, plus two life insurance companies.

The Cassitys were sued last August in federal court by seven state insurance guaranty companies, some of them from Missouri and Illinois. The lawsuit sought to recover the cost of paying for 150,000 pre-need funeral service contracts after NPS collapsed in 2008. Regulators in Texas seized control of the company. The lawsuit claimed the family "preyed on consumers and funeral homes to perpetuate a multimillion-dollar, nationwide scheme...."

Now, attorneys for the insurance guaranty companies wanted a judge to issue an injunction against the Cassitys to keep them from spending money that the attorneys claimed was an "unjust benefit."

The courtroom in downtown St. Louis was packed with attorneys, at least 30 of them. J. Douglas Cassity, the family patriarch, sat at a table writing notes with a red pen on a yellow legal pad, ripping off half-sheets that he handed to the attorneys. His wife, Rhonda Cassity, and one of his sons, Tyler Cassity, watched from the gallery. The only Cassity not in court was Brent.

"They say we got $600 million," J. Douglas Cassity said loudly to an attorney during a break. "We got nothing, nothing but a salary."

The hearing served as a preview of arguments that will likely play out in the civil lawsuit. Attorneys Reilly and Larry Pozner, who represent the guaranty companies, spent the day outlining how they believed the Cassitys used money set aside for pre-need funeral contracts for their personal whims.

They highlighted American Express bills, paid for by NPS, that showed the Cassitys spending $64,000 to charter a yacht and $22,300 on a family trip to St. Maartens. They claimed that pre-need funeral funds were used to pay off mortgages on Cassity houses in Nantucket, which were then bought by one of their life insurance companies.

Many of the transactions were in the form of loans, which were never repayed, Pozner told the judge. "The Cassitys borrowed money, not to pay Peter, but to pay Cassitys."

But the desire for an injunction seemed to be focused on a medical malpractice insurance company owned by the Cassitys, Professional Liability Insurance Co. of America, known as PLICA. A deal for the company to be sold appeared to be in the works. Reilly and Pozner argued the judge needed to make sure sale proceeds were set aside to satisfy any potential judgement.

Attorneys for the Cassity family argued against the injunction, choosing not to dispute the other side's allegations but by focusing on questions of jurisdiction and whether an injunction was truly necessary.

An attorney for Rhonda Cassity claimed that her client's husband "doesn't even have the money to have an attorney. He's appearing pro se." The attorney said Rhonda Cassity was supporting both of them by flipping high-end houses.

Barry Short, an attorney for Brent Cassity, said NPS operated successfully for years, that financial trouble began only when regulators seized control. And referring to a Supreme Court justice who called a preliminary injunction a legal "nuclear bomb," Short argued to the federal judge that he 'should not drop the bomb on the Cassitys."

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Webber did not issue a ruling on Wednesday. But he ended the lengthy hearing noting that his work was not over.

"We have a lot of work to do," Webber said, "and we'll get at it."
70 Monday, 26 July 2010 04:40
ken
Rhonda Cassity says they have nothing? i beg to differ
2 homes in Nantucket
Condo in nyc
Naples Florida home
Membership to country clubs in naples and nantucket
as far as the sons go lets see
million plus dollar home in Clayton Missourik
Home on Nantucket Island
Membership to country clubs in St Louis and Nantucket
numerous high end vehilcles esclades hummers jeeps all custom
private shool and colleges for their children
tyler owns 2 matching mercedes in LA as well as a high end hom
staff and housekeepers

Does this sound like people that are suffering or having to work?
I DON'T THINK SO
71 Wednesday, 28 July 2010 08:33
alex j
Nothing seems to have changed for the Cassity Family it is very said for all the innocent people who gave their hard earned $$ so they could have a proper planned burial and not be a burden to their families. The greed of the Cassity Family and the missing 600 million dollars how can they actually walk around St. Louis ?
72 Sunday, 01 August 2010 23:01
Faye
In 1921 my family moved to a farm that joined the Cassity farm. Through the years and generations our families were close friends. My mother (92) has known the Cassity family all her life. She was Doug's father's teacher.
Doug's sister was my best friend. I spent many nights sleeping over.We KNOW the Cassity family. Doug was the darling of our community: Brilliant student, star basketball player, student body president, great personality and a smile that would take him a long way in life.
Doug, why did you let that smile take you down such an unlikely path? The "Cassity" name stood for honesty. A person could do business with a Cassity on a hand shake. You were proud of that name. Will your grandchildren be able to share in that pride? I think not. Was what you did worth it?
73 Tuesday, 21 September 2010 09:28
ramrod
you can only hope that what goes around comes around, ya just wish it would happen faster.
74 Friday, 01 October 2010 01:32
Dana
it has been over a YEAR since the Federal charges came to light.
How can there be absolutely no news on what is going on with the case
The Cassitys are rumored to be running around St, Louis without a care in the world and a fleet of brand new cars! How can a faimily that claims that they have nothing liive like they ?
Their money should be frozen its all a joke and no respect for this family at all ;
75 Monday, 22 November 2010 15:58
CJames
Watch news tonight BIG indictment today 11/22/2010!!!!!!!!
76 Monday, 22 November 2010 16:34
smith haynes
Who is being indicted? Is it someone connected with NPS or one of the members of the Cassity family it has been over a year i doubt any indictment is going to come now. Is this indctment in St. Louis or Texas
77 Friday, 26 November 2010 02:50
justice
go to stltoday.com all have been arrested and are out on bail. Read the articles they paint the picture of corruption for the cassity family and associates. The amount of real estate holdings are stunning. They claim to have no money but how are they able to send their children to private schools and belong ot Old Warson Country Club? please explain that to the common man who has his "burial plot" through Forever Funeral Homes?
78 Monday, 31 January 2011 04:15
frank james
Can you believe that although NPS and the Cassity "Forever" holdings include the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles, that the LA Times has NEVER ran a story about the 600 million dollar fraud? Unbelievable! Tyler Cassity must have blown a few newspaper investigators at the LA Times!
79 Friday, 18 February 2011 18:49
Connected
In St. Louis, the owner of a 2nd generation funeral home has taken over the pre-funded contracts and current need business for the St. Louis segment of this business. So everyone with a pre-existing contract is getting the services for which they paid. The receivership in TX may never reimburse funds for this. Hopefully, this owner will not not run his family's business into the ground in an effort to completely acquire these properties and serve St. Louis families as they deserve to be served. The Cassitys need to be held accountable for the wrongs they have done and this really hasn't happened yet.
80 Tuesday, 01 March 2011 23:52
frank james
anyone have any information on when the trial of those indicted will begin?
81 Thursday, 24 March 2011 22:36
Stanley
Doug and Rhonda Cassity sponsored Brent and Julie Cassity for membership in Great Harbor Yacht Club in August of 2010. The cost of membership in this club is $300,000. Will it ever end?
82 Thursday, 24 March 2011 22:56
springfield citizen
Rhonda and Dougie have lived the lavish life ......on the future graves of the people they have duped.

I remember them well when they were Amwaying their way through people savings. Old Dougie had determined that there were too many honest attorneys in Springfiele for him to thrive so he bagan to branch out.

Rhonda was an excellent-looking gal, kind of a poster girl for Mary Kay. It appears that she trained well under Dougie's leadership and has actively participated in the laundry (not of clothes, the maid took care of that)of funds from bogus company to bogus company and then invested in the lifestyle of the rich and famous.

Is there any way to stack the jury pool to give me the opportunity to be on a future jury for these two snakes. It's been said you can't keep a snake locked up forever, but I'd like the opportunity to try.

It is very disappointing that through the years people like the Blunts, Nixon,Wasson,Viebrock,Dixon,Clemens,Bentley,Marsh, and the other legislators in Missouri failed their oath to protect us from these predators.
83 Monday, 06 June 2011 16:06
CA Native
The owner of Hollywood Forever (Tyler Cassity) is being accused of fraud and being sued for $600 million.

http://www.moremarin.com/buzzhome/2009/08/marin-cemetery-owner-sued-for-600-million.html

Here is how it began

http://www.deathcarelaw.com/postdispatch%205-11-08.pdf



The whole Cassity family including Tyler are a bunch of crooks that care nothing about the deceased or a families loved one. All they care about is stealing peoples hard earned money. People really should do their research before getting involved with any cemetery or property owned by these people. Its amazing how in LA nobody knows about this story. In the end they will get what’s coming to them and be put in jail like the crook their father was.
84 Wednesday, 08 June 2011 18:50
Florida Jim
How can this case still not have come to trial yet?
It seems amazing to me that the lavish lifestyle continues.
Do they stilll have homes in Nantucket and Naples Florida?
I assume there is going to be a federal triial but when and where?
Questions like these need to be answered
85 Tuesday, 29 November 2011 20:05
Joe

I went to high school with the Cassity brothers. Brent would make fun of the way I dressed and the old car that I drove. During lunch hour, he once poured an entire can of soda on my lap. I had to go the entire day with pants and underwear that were wet and sticky. He also spray painted my car with pink paint and called me gay. This is not a nice guy and deserves the harshest penalty. Brent, I hope you remember me and it looks like you have finally been caught. Good luck in jail.

86 Thursday, 05 January 2012 00:16
Burned

Really,


 What is taking so long to get justice?

87 Friday, 06 January 2012 12:18
Burned

National Prearranged Services Officials bring Black Eye to Funeral Industry – Looks like Sutton, Cassity and others have dug themselves a Grave!


 


Can anybody give me the location of this grave they dug themsevels in?????


I know I'm in the hole

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