McGraw goes after funeral home, three individuals in lawsuit

By Kyla Asbury | Dec 8, 2009


CHARLESTON -- Attorney General Darrell McGraw is suing a Wyoming County funeral home and three individuals for allegedly misappropriating money consumers spent on prepaid funerals.

Adam Toler Memorial Funeral Home and the three individuals -- Donna Toler, Daniel Toler and Rebekah Cline -- refused to comply with the reporting and licensing requirements of the Preneed Act, according to a complaint filed Dec. 4 in Wyoming Circuit Court.

The Preneed Division of the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Attorney General conducted an audit and discovered in addition to the misappropriations, preneed contracts had not been reported to the division. Preneed contracts had been performed, but expenditures had not been disclosed to the Preneed Division, according to the suit.

Kim Stitzinger-Jones of the Attorney General's Office said the funeral home was supposed to hold money in trust for clients, but sometimes deposited it into operating accounts or would withdraw from the trusts and spend the money.

Investigators still are determining how much Toler spent and on what.

"My office oversees the preneed funeral business to protect West Virginia consumers and ensure they receive the funeral they requested and for which they paid," McGraw said in a press release. "In this case, the funeral home has refused to comply with the requirements that protect consumers."

McGraw is seeking to enjoin the defendants from selling, making available or providing preneed funeral contracts.

Any customer of Adam Toler Memorial Funeral Home suspecting that their prepayments may have been mishandled are being asked to contact the Attorney General's Consumer Hotline at 800-368-8808 or 304-558-8986.

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