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Prepaid funeral scam figure dies

James "Doug" Cassity was released from prison amid concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

ST. LOUIS — James "Doug" Cassity, the former head of a prearranged funeral firm who was convicted in a $600 million scam, has died. He was 74.

Cassity in 2013 was sentenced to nine years and seven months in prison. The Federal Bureau of Prisons released him and thousands of others amid concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

A city of St. Louis police spokeswoman said officers on Sunday responded to the Chase Park Plaza after Cassity was found dead in his apartment. "The incident was handled by the Medical Examiner and a police report was not generated," the spokeswoman, Michelle Woodling, said. The St. Louis medical examiner’s office said Cassity died from apparently natural causes, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Six people tied to the Clayton-based National Prearranged Services Inc. in 2013 were sentenced to federal prison, and ordered to pay more than $445 million in restitution, in what was billed as one of the biggest criminal trials since the days of the mob.

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