Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced Wednesday that the West Virginia Attorney General’s Office recently filed a complaint against Broyles-McGuire Funeral Home LLC and its owner, Joel L. McGuire, for allegedly violating the state’s Preneed Act and Consumer Credit and Protection Act.
The complaint was filed in Monroe County Circuit Court. It alleges that a March 2013 audit of Broyles-McGuire Funeral Home by the Attorney General’s Preneed Unit discovered multiple violations of West Virginia law. The alleged violations include at least eight death claims, totaling $60,512.36, that were made by and paid to the funeral home prior to the deaths of the beneficiaries; eight preneed contracts for which the funeral home failed to submit a death beneficiary report with the Preneed Unit to account for the withdrawals, expenditures and disbursement; and four occasions in which the funeral home accepted advanced payment, totaling $36,644.05, for funeral arrangements without depositing the consumers’ funds into a trust account or preneed insurance policy as required by law.
The complaint also alleges the audit revealed four preneed contracts that the funeral home had failed to record with the State within 10 days of executing the contract, with required fees, as required by statute.
“The auditor in our Preneed Unit identified four separate areas of alleged violations and at least 12 West Virginia consumers who were affected by the Defendants’ conduct,” Attorney General Morrisey said.
The complaint asks the Court to prohibit Broyles-McGuire Funeral Home and its owner from selling, making available and/or acting as the provider of any preneed funeral products or services in the State of West Virginia, and it seeks an order requiring the defendants to refund all money received from West Virginia consumers as advance payment for preneed contracts not already performed. The complaint also asks the Court to require the funeral home to turn over all preneed contracts to the State.
Additionally, the complaint asks the Court to impose civil penalties of $5,000 per violation of the Preneed Act and Consumer Credit and Protection Act, as well as punitive damages equal to three times the actual damages awarded in the judgment, plus interest.
The complaint was filed in Monroe County Circuit Court. It was assigned case number 14-C-34. A copy of the complaint can be found at bit.ly/1npwTQM.