LOS ANGELES (CN) – Two women in their sixties have been arrested on charges they faked funerals for non-existent people and cashed in on life insurance policies to the tune of $750,000, the U.S. Attorney announced Thursday.
U.S. Attorney Thomas O’Brian said Faye Shilling, 60, of Hawthorne, California, and Jean Crump, 67, of Los Angeles, were arrested Wednesday after a grand jury returned an indictment for fraud in connection with their scheme.
According to the indictment, Shilling, a phlebotomist, and Crump, an employee at the now defunct Long Beach mortuary defrauded insurance companies over a three year period by cashing life insurance policies for non-existent identities, whom they claimed had died. Shilling and Crump are allegedly responsible for the creation of bogus death certificates, the purchasing of burial plots, and the staging of phony funerals. The women allegedly filled the caskets with various materials to make it appear as if they contained corpses.
The indictment alleges that the women filed false documents with LA County stating that the remains of one man had been cremated and scattered at sea, when no such corpse ever existed. The indictment further alleges that defendant Crump offered a medical doctor $50,000 to create records supporting the fake death certificate.