Crime
11:49 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Fourth Guilty Plea In Prearranged Funerals Case

A fourth person associated with a suburban St. Louis prearranged funeral company has admitted to fraud in a plea deal with federal prosecutors.

Randall Sutton on Tuesday pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to bank fraud, mail fraud, money laundering and misappropriation of an insurance premium. Sutton and three former colleagues all face sentencing on Nov. 7.

Sutton held several positions with National Prearranged Funerals Inc., including president. Federal prosecutors say the company was essentially a large Ponzi scheme that bilked as many as 150,000 customers out of as much as $600 million.

Sutton's attorney, Calvin Matthews, says his client agreed to the plea deal because Sutton thought it was best for him.

Trial is scheduled starting Aug. 5 for two others associated with the now-defunct company.