State regulators Monday filed a lawsuit against one of California’s largest funeral trusts, claiming that millions of dollars worth of customers’ money has been “misused, misspent, and mismanaged,” according to the Department of Consumer Affairs.
The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, names the California Master Trust as the defendant. It seeks to take over control of the trust, oust the current directors, and force those currently in control to repay $14 million in missing trust funds.
The trust is one of the nation’s largest administrators of pre-need funeral plans — funeral services paid for while the buyer is still alive. Those plans are sold by individual funeral homes, with the payments held by the trust.
Administrators illegally used those payments to pay more than $4 million in kickbacks to funeral homes in order to make sure their plans were sold to customers, according to the lawsuit.