Millions of dollars are missing from a funeral fund in Wisconsin - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Millions of dollars are missing from a funeral fund in Wisconsin.

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

Millions of dollars are missing from a funeral fund in Wisconsin. This is money that people paid in, to make sure things were taken care of when they passed away.

The Wisconsin Funeral Directors Association and The Funeral Trust Fund, are in some hot water, due to a shortage in the amount of money, in the fund. Thousands of people put money into this fund to preplan funeral services, but now officials tell us that money isn't here.

The suspected $21 million shortfall is now under investigation, by the Department of Justice and the Department of Financial Institutions.

"Trying to find out the best way to protect the assets and to recover as much as possible of the lost or missing funds," said Evan Zeppos, a spokesperson for the Attorney handling the case.

He tells us; about 11,000 people put their money down for prepaid funerals sold by funeral homes around the state. Now, a judge has appointed new leaders from the outside to advise how to move forward. And some changes are already being made.

"He's brought in a new company to manage the fund and assets of the trust, he announced that the Executive Director of the Association is no longer with the association," said Zeppos. 

We spoke with a Wausau Funeral Director, who says his funeral home never invested in this fund.

"Here at Brainard Funeral Home, all of our money is put into a life insurance account," said Tom King.

But King feels for the other funeral homes affected.

"The majority of the funeral homes throughout the state of Wisconsin certainly didn't realize there was money being invested in higher tools," said King. 

Investigators say, those who put money into the fund can still get it out for a funeral, while the search for the missing money continues.

Newsline 9 did try contacting the President of The Wisconsin Funeral Directors Association, but he did not return our calls.

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