Most people would rather not think about funerals, but some criminals have decided that's the perfect time to strike.
Clarence Corter thought he put his funeral worries to rest after buying a casket from a company called Celestial Burials. The 30-year Air Force veteran found the ad for the company in the VFW magazine.
"We ordered a casket with an Air Force insignia on it, and then we ordered one for me too because they were less expensive," said Corter's wife, Betty.
Several years later, Corter passed away, so Betty called Celestial Burials.
"We called the funeral home to let them know the casket would be shipped to them in 24 hours," said Betty.
But that didn't happen.
"We were going to the viewing. When we got to the funeral home he was lying on a table," said Betty.
Betty and her children had to immediately pay an additional and unexpected $3,500 for a casket.
But some families can't afford to buy a casket on the spot, and some funeral homes agree to front services at the risk of never being paid back.
Funeral directors say do your research.
"With the advent of the technology we have today, the Internet and word of mouth, has anybody else done business with these people? Are they people of their word?" said funeral director Joseph Lapinski. "That's the crux of any business."
The Corter family is among almost 5,000 victims who lost more than $2.4 million combined. Many were World War II veterans.
Joe Stabile, the owner of Celestial Burials, pleaded guilty to charges including conspiracy, mail fraud and making false statements on tax returns.
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