Oklahoma Watches and Warnings

More complaints against an Oklahoma funeral home under investigation for possible fraud

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LUTHER, Okla. - More complaints are coming to light against an Oklahoma funeral home under investigation for allegedly ripping off numerous customers.

We first told you about the investigation earlier this week, after prosecutors filed a search warrant against the Brown Funeral Parlor in Luther.

A Wellston man now claims he got ripped off to the tune of nearly $4,000.

That victim paid for a headstone that never got made and he is not alone.

Brent Rackley passed away in 2008.

Last year, his son Justin paid nearly $4,000 to put a high quality headstone next to the rest of his family

"Trying to get a headstone is the last thing you get to do for somebody," said Justin Rackley.

Unfortunately for Justin, he paid the money to the Brown Funeral Parlor in Luther.

"They used the money I paid for something else and never had the money to replace the stone," said Rackley.

After the Brown funeral home failed to produce a headstone, Justin paid for the headstone a second time with a different company and took the Brown family to court.

Records show the court ruled the Browns, under a company called 5 Stems and Stones, breached their contract in the amount of $3,595.

Yet when it came time to pay the bills, in June, the defendant failed to appear in court.

He did the same in August forcing the judge to issue a citation for contempt of court.

"We've been to court 4 times and they've shown up once," said Rackley.

"He was defrauding us and just taking our money," said victim Ellen Taylor.

A second victim, Ellen Taylor paid than $10,000 for burial services and $1,600 for headstones before her money vanished as well.

"He defrauded us on all counts," said Taylor.

The Brown Funeral Parlor as since closed it's doors, but the Oklahoma Insurance Department cautions everyone paying for funeral services to make sure the business has the proper licenses and permits.

"We should've done our homework and we wouldn't have gone the route we did," said Rackley.

Despite being in contempt of court, a warrant has not been issued for the former owners.

We've also tried repeatedly to track the Brown family down and have been unsuccessful.

The state insurance department is now looking into possible crimes of embezzlement, exploitation of a vulnerable adult and violating state statutes.

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