The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that the sentencing hearing for Doug Cassity will be held today. Originally scheduled for November 7th, the hearing was postponed when additional pleadings were filed with the Federal court. Mr. Cassity continues to dispute the extent of the damages caused by his actions. As we noted in a prior blog post, Mr. Cassity’s plea agreement left to be determined a sentencing guideline that would be triggered when losses attributed to Mr. Cassity’s conduct exceeded $400,000,000.00. Subsequent to the execution of that plea agreement, one of the defendant attorneys disclosed a cache of NPS records and computers that had been hidden from the NPS receiver and the government attorneys. We can’t help but wonder whether the post plea misconduct provisions of Mr. Cassity’s agreement may have played a role in the sudden disclosure of the NPS records. Rather than have his plea thrown out, Mr. Cassity came clean about the records. The amount of losses reported by the Post Dispatch this morning is $512 million. That is still far less than the $900 million number that was frequently reported by various sources four years ago (which is probably a more accurate number than any amount based on NPS records).

Funeral homes and consumers will bear these losses for many years to come. Funeral homes will receive far less than what was promised them when honoring the NPS contracts. These funeral homes may have little choice but to raise their prices to stay in business, and consequently, the public at large will also bear some of the loss. Like a tax, the guaranty payments will also be funded through premiums on future insurance sales. Hopefully, Judge Hamilton will not fall for another Cassity shell game.