(9/15/12) A court-appointed receiver was named today to operate the Wisconsin Funeral Directors Association, after questions were raised about a fund that covers prepaid funerals.
The state Justice Department said over 10-thousand people bought prepaid funeral plans, and the fund that provides those funerals lost millions-of-dollars in risky investments. A Dane County judge was told today that the fund could be short by 21-million dollars, or maybe more. Milwaukee attorney John Wirth was appointed as the receiver. He told the association's 500 funeral homes to stop selling prepaid funeral plans, until he could determine the group's financial condition. Wirth said the fund should have 70-million dollars – but instead, there's a multi-million dollar shortfall. The Justice Department would not say whether it's conducting a criminal probe. Wirth promised an "open and transparent" examination of the funeral association's finances. Those who bought pre-paid funerals did so through their local funeral homes – but the money was sent to the state association, which invested it and lost it. Wirth said he would focus on the association, and not on the individual funeral homes. He said funeral homes are generally small family businesses, and he saw no need to question their conduct.
Source: Wheeler News