Death Care Compliance Law

Death Care Compliance Law

Preneed: A Pandora's Box of Problems

William Stalter is the founder of Stalter Legal Services and the Preneed Resource Company. Bill focuses his law practice on preneed and death care compliance, serving banks, funeral homes, crematories, and cemeteries. He has written multiple published articles

Category Archives: NPS/Lincoln

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Testimony Guidelines for the NPS Experts

Posted in NPS/Lincoln
In August, litigants to the NPS civil trial were required to file expert opinion reports with the court.  Initially, there were essentially 8 defendant banks, and most had retained one or more experts to testify at trial.  As a consequence, a plethora of expert reports were filed with the court.  Many of the experts offered … Continue Reading

A Legacy of Disgrace: the NPS Management Team

Posted in NPS/Lincoln, Uncategorized
Randall K. Sutton, former President and CEO of National Prearranged Services, died in prison on December 8th.    Accordingly to pleadings filed in the NPS criminal and civil lawsuits, Mr. Sutton played a central role in the company’s operations.  Another pivotal player in the Cassity schemes, Howard Wittner, was recently released from Federal prison so that … Continue Reading

Investment Advisors: How Independent?

Posted in Compliance, Investments, Master Trusts, NPS/Lincoln
In a motion for rulings of law, the NPS Special Deputy Receiver seeks a judicial determination of two legal issues that could impact preneed trustees subject to the jurisdiction of the Eighth Circuit of Federal Court of Appeals: the beneficiary status of preneed purchasers (and funeral homes) and the required independence of investment advisors.  These two … Continue Reading

An immaterial witness: Doug Cassity

Posted in NPS/Lincoln, Uncategorized
Doug doesn’t have much faith in the legion of attorneys retained by the country’s largest banks.  Mr. Cassity has filed a writ of habeas corpus ad testificandum that argues only he can effectively cross examine witnesses to NPS’ compliance with the 1994 consent judgment.   Mr. Cassity argues that NPS could legally withdraw from trust all funds in … Continue Reading

Consumers Payment Options: Administrative Hurdles and Preneed Trusts

Posted in Administration, Associations, Compliance, Master Trusts, Non-guaranteed, NPS/Lincoln, Recordkeeping, Trust Funded
There are three scenarios for administration of preneed installment payments: the funeral operator collects payments, the trustee collects payments or a third party administrator collects payments.  The entity collecting installment payments must be able to apply each payment to the correct preneed account, and provide the other party (or parties) current payment balances.  If the … Continue Reading

Taking Liberties with the Law: Where is my due process?

Posted in NPS/Lincoln, Uncategorized
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt. Abraham Lincoln Pleading by pleading, the Cassitys are speaking out against injustice.  Brent Cassity followed his father’s lead, and filed a motion to dismiss from the civil lawsuit against NPS’ former management and trustees.  The younger Cassity made a hodge … Continue Reading

The Cassity Reply to Dismissal: Not Without a Pass for My Son

Posted in NPS/Lincoln, Uncategorized
Doug Cassity has filed a motion to modify the order dismissing him from the SDR’s civil lawsuit.  Mr. Cassity asserts that he and his family should be freed of the reign of terror and wrongdoing of the Texas regulators and their attorneys.  Seeking a dismissal with prejudice, Mr. Cassity seeks to have the SDR’s claims dropped permanently … Continue Reading

Plaintiff’s Star Witness: Doug Cassity

Posted in Insurance Funded, NPS/Lincoln, Preneed Tax, Trust Funded, Uncategorized
The NPS civil trial is scheduled for trial in February 2015, and the SDR’s strategy took a twist when her litigation team filed a motion to dismiss Doug Cassity as a defendant in the lawsuit.  The dismissal probably signals the SDR’s intent to use Mr. Cassity’s testimony.  Now convinced that Mr. Cassity does not have … Continue Reading

The Cassity Plea Agreement: Extenuating Circumstances

Posted in NPS/Lincoln
I have only scanned Doug Cassity’s plea agreement once, but two issues jumped out from that document.  The plea agreement is based on the US Sentencing Guidelines, and Page 28 of agreement explains that the Government and the defendant did not agree as to whether guidelines relating to economic losses should be applicable to Mr. … Continue Reading

The NPS Criminal Trial: Vicarious Liability?

Posted in Fiduciary, Investments, Master Trusts, NPS/Lincoln, Preneed
David Wulf may stand alone in the crosshairs of the criminal prosecutors, but his fate will impact the NPS preneed trustees (and possibly other registered investment advisors who manage death care funds). Mr. Wulf had a situation that is unique from what existed in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Tennessee, but is familiar to other death care … Continue Reading

Coming This August: The Nuremberg Trial

Posted in NPS/Lincoln
 Once again, I have spoken too quickly. After lamenting to the Memorial Business Journal that the NPS plea bargains will deprive consumers and the industry the opportunity to hear how Doug and his crew perpetrated so many frauds, the sole remaining NPS defendant may grant my wish. As the Funeral Service Insider reports that Herr … Continue Reading

The Cassity Plea: A new shell game?

Posted in NPS/Lincoln, Preneed
 This was not the ending that most expected. After decades of playing shell games with regulators and funeral homes, Doug Cassity accepted a plea bargain rather than go to trial. Brent Cassity also accepted a plea bargain, and the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that attorneys for one of the remaining defendants were scurrying to … Continue Reading

The NPS Recovery Plan: Grounded!

Posted in Legislation, NPS/Lincoln
In our prior post, we commented on the lack of detail provided by the Consumer Funeral Assurance group regarding their NPS recovery plan.  We have obtained a copy of the plan, and redacted from the document correspondence that reflect names and/or contact information of recipient organizations or legislators. What is left includes a summary of … Continue Reading

Addressing the NPS aftermath: a hard sell

Posted in Legislation, Missouri - SB1, NPS/Lincoln
Per capita, Missouri funeral directors were hit hardest by the collapse of National Prearranged Services.  And those funeral directors who suffered the greatest losses continue to demand help from the State of Missouri.  Although Missouri re-wrote its preneed law just 3 years ago, the Legislature begins hearings today on whether more legislation is needed. With … Continue Reading

SB340: Missouri’s 2011 Preneed Patch

Posted in Legislation, Missouri - SB1, NPS/Lincoln, Preneed
Continuing the theme that effective preneed regulation requires the occasional update, the Missouri legislature is poised to pass the first ‘patch’ to SB1, the 2009 legislation that ‘re-wrote’ Chapter 436. Senate Bill No. 340 will make four noteworthy changes to Chapter 436. Concerned that preneed sellers would use variable annuities to fund preneed contracts, Missouri’s … Continue Reading

The thorn that will not go away: NPS and Missouri’s Governor

Posted in Missouri - SB1, NPS/Lincoln
Yesterday, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported on the federal indictments handed down against six NPS officials. The article includes two statements that hint at the legal strategies to be employed by NPS and federal prosecutors. "We have anticipated this (indictment) for a number of years, and he is looking forward to finally confronting these … Continue Reading

Mt. Washington: More NPS Fallout

Posted in Cemeteries, NPS/Lincoln
Almost a year to the date after SB1 was signed into law, one of the NPS sister companies was forced to close its doors. The recent Kansas City Star article about Mt. Washington Forever Funeral Home and Cemetery describes a situation that confused and disheartened the families who purchased Mt. Washington preneed contracts. The Missouri … Continue Reading