The long arm of the law recently caught up with a former New York funeral home director who was ordered to shut down her business in 2011, but instead re-located until eventually leaving the field in 2016. It was at that time, according to the New York State Attorney General’s Office, that her failure to repay some $49,000 in advance payments from former customers became a rather large sticking point. A lawsuit against the woman has been filed and rightly so, says New York area attorney Jeffrey Benjamin, whose background in fraud and business litigation gives him a unique perspective on obtaining a favorable verdict or settlement for the victims in these cases.
Per a press release issued by the AG’s office on Sept. 21, 2017, the former owner and operator of Wurtz Funeral Home in Erie County, New York, never registered her business. New York later ordered her to close down the funeral home, but she allegedly “ignored the order and continued to operate the funeral home” until June 2016 when she moved to central New York. Upon her exiting the business, the former director was still on the hook for $49,000 in advance payments made by eight people. Attorney Jeffrey Benjamin says that a lawsuit filed on behalf of the eight people who thought they’d never get their money back is sometimes the only thing to do, as the former funeral home director appears to have made no moves to show that she had the intentions of returning the funds. According to New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, “suing to recoup” was the most direct approach.
“It is appalling that a funeral home director would betray the trust these families put in her. A family mourning the death of a loved should never have to worry about being swindled. That is why we are suing to recoup the thousands of dollars in losses for the victims, and help ensure this won’t happen to others,” Schneiderman said in the press release.
Per the press release, “panicked customers” had to reach out to New York’s funeral home directing bureau to get additional information about how to get their money back. The state attorney general’s office alleges that the former funeral home director was uncooperative and initiated an investigation as a result. The pre-payment of funeral funds, as was the case here, is a tricky practice, says attorney Jeffrey Benjamin. However, the fact that the former director had left the business and was reportedly uncooperative shows that those funds were certainly in limbo and the people who’d put forward considerable amounts of cash were right to be worried. Those in the New York City and Long Island areas who have experienced being at a disadvantaged due to disingenuous activity by a business are encouraged to contact Mr. Benjamin, whose firm and fellow law professionals can help you go after those who’ve happily and quickly collected your money for nothing in return.