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Brownstown Funeral Home Closes, Complaint Filed
Updated August 25, 2017 7:02 AM
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(BROWNSTOWN) - Winklepleck-Weesner Funeral Home in Brownstown has closed.

The 72-year-old Jackson County funeral home ceased operations after its annual state license expired. Without the license the funeral home can not stay open.

James D. Weesner Jr. has owned and operated the funeral home at 320 North High Street, since the death of his father James Weesner Sr., in October 2006.

Weesner attempted to renew the funeral home's license, but when he did he found out he had become the subject of a complaint over the sale of prearranged funeral services.

Meredith Lizza, director of communications and legislative affairs for the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency says Weesner's license to be a funeral director does not expire until the end of 2018, but his license to operate the funeral home is issued separately by the state.

The complaint filed Feb. 10 by Deputy Attorney General Timothy Weber says Weesner did not have a certificate of authority to sell prepaid services since 2004. A certificate of authority has no cost to renew, while the funeral home and funeral director licenses cost $50 annually to renew, all Weesner had to do was renew it.

The state filed the complaint after a woman entered into an Indiana Irrevocable Prepaid Funeral Plan Trust Agreement with Winklepleck-Weesner for $14,315.15 on March 9, 2016. She contacted the Attorney General's Office after discovering Weesner cashed her check but did not place the money into an irrevocable trust within 30 days of entering the agreement, which is required by state law.

The woman discovered the incident after her husband's own prepaid funeral on Aug. 26, 2016 at Winklepleck-Weesner. The woman asked Weesner to transfer ownership of her funeral arrangements and trust agreements to a Seymour funeral home.

More than 45 days after her request, which was made on Sept. 12, 2016, the woman contacted the local bank where the trust was to be placed and found it had not been established in her name. Weesner returned the money to the woman with a cashier's check for $14,411.87 on Nov. 3, 2016.

Weesner will appear before the State Board Of Funeral & Cemetery Services on October 5th to answer the complaint.

Officials says others who have prepaid funerals with Winklepleck-Weesner can get their money back, through the consumer protection fund if they have their paperwork. Clients who have questions or wish to file a complaint may contact the attorney general's office or the state licensing agency.

They can contact the attorney general's consumer protection division at (800) 382-5516 or (317) 232-6330 to speak with a representative regarding a consumer scam or consumer complaint or visit in.gov/attorneygeneral

They can contact the State Board of Funeral & Cemetery Service at (317)234-3031, email pla12@pla.in.gov or visit in.gov/pla/funeral.htm



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