Home Law Funeral home pays penalty for practices

Funeral home pays penalty for practices

A Harrison funeral home owner will pay a $32,000 civil penalty to settle federal charges of unfair and deceptive practices when providing funeral services.

Preet Bharara, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said the consent decree approved by a federal judge in White Plains Jan. 2 settles a complaint brought in May 2012 against Harrison Funeral Home Inc. and its owner and president John Balsamo. The complaint alleged the defendants violated the Federal Trade Commission’s rule regulating funeral industry practices by failing to provide required price lists on four occasions to persons inquiring about funeral services.

Although the funeral home and Balsamo were given the option of enrolling in a voluntary program to prevent future violations, they failed to enroll employees in the program’s required training and continued to violate the FTC rule, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Balsamo and the corporation in the consent decree admitted it violated the funeral rule.

In addition to the financial penalty, the consent order requires the defendants to submit compliance notices to the FTC for the next 20 years, maintain certain records and submit to compliance reviews.

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As managing editor of the Business Journals, John Golden directs news coverage of Westchester and Fairfield counties and the Hudson Valley region. He was an award-winning upstate columnist and feature writer before joining the Business Journal in 2007. He is the author of “Northern Drift: Sketches on the New York Frontier,” a collection of his regional journalism.

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