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Civil suit appears settled involving mismanagement of funeral directors association trust

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The Wisconsin Funeral Directors Association will pay $20,000, and its insurer will pay $650,000, to settle claims that it mismanaged a trust account.

In exchange, the state Financial Institutions Department will drop a civil suit it filed against the funeral directors in 2012. The settlement was filed Tuesday in Dane County Circuit Court.

The trust fund was supposed to cover prepaid-funerals that numerous families bought from their local funeral directors throughout Wisconsin. However, the fund was discovered to have a $21 million shortfall in 2012 -- and it was thrown into receivership.

Receiver John Wirth said the trust fund has recovered just over $11 million, but there's still a shortfall of around $15,000.

The funeral directors will pay about $10,000 to the trust fund, and another $10,000 to the state.

Funeral homes have been covering prepaid funeral homes from whatever money's been in the trust fund -- while paying the rest from their own pockets.

A federal investigation into the matter continues.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)