A former Los Angeles mortuary employee was convicted in an elaborate scheme to defraud insurance companies of $1.2 million by faking deaths and funerals, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.
Jean Crump, 67, was found guilty of two federal counts of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud.
Prosecutors said Crump, who worked at a now-defunct funeral home in the Los Angeles suburb of Lynwood, and three accomplices prepared bogus death certificates for at least two fictitious people, going so far as to buy a burial plot and bury a casket in a phony funeral for one of them.
Prosecutors said Crump and three accomplices had taken out insurance policies on the supposed dead people.
After two insurance companies began investigating the claims, Crump and her accomplices exhumed the casket, filled it with a mannequin and cow parts, and had the casket cremated to try to cover their tracks.
Prosecutors said Crump and her accomplices also filed false documents with Los Angeles County stating that the remains were cremated and scattered at sea, even though no corpse existed.
Crump allegedly offered $50,000 to a medical doctor to create medical records supporting the fake death certificate.
Crump is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 29. Her three accomplices have pleaded guilty to their roles in the scam.
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