July 31, 2012
Kansas City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster announced today that he has charged Ronald C. Marts, owner and operator of Martron, LLC d/b/a Marts Memorial Services, with stealing money from consumers who purchased funeral services in advance of their deaths.
Marts is also charged with violating the Missouri Preneed Funeral Contract Act and with deceptive business practices.
Marts did business as Marts Memorial Home, located at 14 Westport Road in Kansas City, from approximately July 2005 to March 2011. The complaint contends Marts accepted payments from consumers for preneed funeral contracts, which are contracts people purchase in advance to pay their burial and funeral services, but failed to establish a trust account in which to deposit the funds.
The Attorney General also alleges Marts failed to tell consumers that he was not licensed to sell preneed contracts, and he falsely promised consumers that their contracts would be fulfilled by another entity if Marts could not. Marts is also accused of providing the wrong cremated remains to consumers.
The Attorney General was appointed special prosecutor for the case and, working with the Jackson County Prosecutors Office, filed a ten-count felony complaint, which alleges one count of stealing of property or services of $25,000 or more, a Class B Felony; four counts of violations of the Missouri Preneed Funeral Contract Act, a Class C Felony; and five counts of violations of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act, a Class D Felony.
Stealing over $25,000 by Deceit is punishable upon conviction by up to 15 years in prison per count. Preneed Funeral Contract violations are punishable by up to seven years in prison per count and Unlawful Merchandising Practices is punishable upon conviction by up to four years in prison per count. Bond has been set at $20,000. The pending charges against the defendants are merely accusations. As in all criminal cases, the defendants are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty.
If you have paid money to Ronald C. Marts or Marts Memorial Services for funeral goods and services that have not been provided, please contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Hotline at 1-800-392-8222 or online at ago.mo.gov to file a consumer complaint.