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Prepaid funeral "Ponzi" defendants sentenced

National Prearranged Services owner James "Doug" Cassity and his son, Brent Cassity. National Prearranged Services owner James "Doug" Cassity and his son, Brent Cassity. Image source: Fox 2 News

   Six people who operated or worked for a St. Louis County-based prearranged funeral company are going to prison for terms ranging from 18 months to 10 years for defrauding customers.  

   The owner of National Prearranged Services, James "Doug" Cassity and his son, Brent Cassity avoided possible life terms by striking plea deals over the summer.  

   Federal prosecutors say the defendants sentenced Thursday operated a business that was nothing more than an elaborate Ponzi scheme and bilked more than 97,000 customers out of nearly a half-billion dollars.  

   All six defendants were ordered to turn themselves in after the holidays.

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