November 10, 2009
--Buescher loses funeral licenses for multiple violations--
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster and the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration announced today that Buescher Memorial Home of Jefferson City will lose its Funeral Home Establishment license and Barbara Buescher will lose her Funeral Director’s License after findings of multiple violations.
In addition, the Attorney General’s office is seeking a temporary restraining order to freeze assets associated with Buescher’s pre-need funeral business, in preparation for seeking restitution for consumers.
According to the Attorney General, the disciplinary decision revokes Barbara Buescher’s Funeral Director’s and Embalmer’s licenses and Buescher Memorial Home’s Funeral Establishment license. The action also involves Buescher Memorial Home’s Preneed Provider Registration and Preneed Seller Registration, which were already inactive because Ms. Buescher had not sought temporary licensure as required by the new preneed law that took effect August 28, 2009.
In a disciplinary hearing before the Board, the Attorney General’s office noted there were more than 125 causes for discipline against Barbara Buescher’s licenses and the Buescher Memorial Home’s licenses and registrations.
The causes for discipline centered on Buescher’s handling of its preneed business, and were prompted by complaints. Complaints included that Buescher charged for services at death that were already included in the preneed contracts or were never contracted for in the preneed contracts, entered into preneed contracts with purchasers and failed to deposit the funds received into a trust or into a joint account to pay expenses at death, failed to refund cancellations, made erroneous computations of sales tax that resulted in overcharging, failed to itemize what was purchased, and made mathematical errors that resulted in underpayments and overpayments.
“Missourians rely on funeral home directors to be a trusted source when they need them most,” Koster said. “It is important that someone in this position not violate that trust, and it is appropriate that Ms. Buescher and Buescher Memorial Home lose their licenses.”
The license revocation means Buescher Memorial Home must immediately cease doing business. Ms. Buescher also immediately loses her Funeral Home Director and Embalmers licenses, and may not practice in the field.