March 14, 2013
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster said today that he has reached a settlement with a Kansas City funeral home director for submitting a fraudulent invoice for funeral items to the Crime Victims Compensation Program.
Koster's settlement is with Duane E. Harvey, doing business as Duane E. Harvey Funeral Directors. Koster said the state investigated Mr. Harvey after receiving a complaint that Harvey submitted an invoice for goods and services to the Crime Victims Compensation Program that were not actually purchased or provided.
The Crime Victims Compensation Program, which is run by the Missouri Department of Public Safety, financially assists victims of violent crime in paying for reasonable medical expenses, counseling expenses, funeral expenses, lost wages and loss of support. The Program caught the fraudulent invoice and had not paid it.
Under the terms of the settlement, Mr. Harvey must comply with all of Missouri's Merchandising Practices laws and Embalmers and Funeral Directors laws. Mr. Harvey also agreed to pay $500 to the Missouri Merchandising Practices Revolving Fund and $1,000 in civil penalties to the state.
"We will not tolerate attempts to wrongfully take money from the state, particularly from such a worthy fund as the Crime Victims Compensation Program," Koster said. "We are fortunate that no consumers lost money because of Mr. Harvey's unlawful actions. We hope this settlement sends a message to all who bill services to the state that, if you submit fraudulent invoices, you will be held accountable."
If you have a complaint against Duane E. Harvey or Duane E. Harvey Funeral Directors, contact the Attorney General's Consumer Hotline at 1-800-392-8222 or online at ago.mo.gov to file a consumer complaint.