ST. LOUIS -- A St. Louis County woman has admitted to a role in a pre-arranged funeral scam that allegedly bilked customers out of as much as $600 million.
On Monday, 69-year-old Sharon Nekol Province of Ballwin, Mo., pleaded guilty to six federal counts. Sentencing is Nov. 7.
Five other defendants are expected to go to trial in August in what is being called one of the largest fraud cases ever prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office in St. Louis.
Province worked for now-defunct National Prearranged Services Inc., a suburban St. Louis firm that sold prearranged funeral contracts in several states. Federal prosecutors say NPS was operated like a Ponzi scheme.
Province’s attorney, Joseph Green, says Province wasn’t a decision-maker but admitted turning a blind eye to fraud within the company.