The U.S. Attorney's Office has accused and its president John Balsamo of using unfair and deceptive trade practices, saying Balsamo refused to provide required price lists and service statements to potential customers.
The complaint, filed in White Plains Federal Court Thursday, accuses Balsamo of violating the Federal Trade Commission's "Funeral Rule" requiring all funeral homes to provide written price lists and statements of funeral goods they choose to purchase, according to a release from U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
Balsamo is accused of violating the law in 2001 and again in 2010. The complaint says after Balsamo was notified of the violations he refused to enroll his staff in a voluntary training program and continued to violate the law after the notification.
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The federal complaint is seeking civil penalties and an injunction barring Balsamo and the Harrison Funeral Home, located at 329 Halstead Avenue, from violating the law in the future.
The Funeral Rule was created to protect grieving family members from being taken advantage of through inflated prices, overcharges or unnecessary services, according to the press release.
Balsamo faces the maximum civil penalties allowed under FTC laws, the release said. Assistant U.S. Attorney Natalie Kuehler is handling the civil case.