HARRISBURG – Acting Attorney General Michelle Henry announced today a settlement with the tombstone and engraving company, 1843 LLC, and its owners, Gregory J. Stephen Sr., Gregory J. Stephen Jr., and Gerald Stephens. announced. In many cases, the company failed to deliver headstones and headstone carvings in a timely manner, or failed to deliver them at all, according to court documents. The Attorney General’s Office issued an injunction last year against Mr. and Mrs. Stefan and his business, 1843 LLC, to prevent them from causing more grief to consumers when acquiring headstones for their deceased loved ones. signed the order. Defendants have now agreed to continue the injunction, and the settlement includes damages to be paid to affected consumers.
“The Stefan family not only took advantage of people, they preyed on loved ones who were grieving during difficult times in their lives,” Acting Attorney General Henry said. “This settlement will ultimately ensure a full recovery for all affected Pennsylvania consumers. increase.”
Stefan Sr. was originally sued by the Attorney General in 2015 by Stefan, LLC and Stefan Memorials, Inc. as the sole operator of Lifestone. Stefan Sr. and his sons later moved the family business to a new company, 1843 LLC. That lawsuit alleges that defendants billed consumers for undelivered or delayed tombstones, refused to give customers full refunds when requested, and charged consumers in misleading and deceptive ways. claims to have solicited
In January 2021, the Attorney General filed a misdemeanor complaint against Lifestone, Stefan Memorials, and Stefan, Sr., resulting in a judgment of more than $300,000 in damages, civil penalties, and costs, stating that Stefan, An injunction was entered against Sr. , which prevented him from owning, controlling, or having any significant involvement in the business of providing or carving headstones to consumers.
In late 2021, authorities filed suit again. This time 1843, LLC, Stefan Sr., and his two sons charged consumers for late or undelivered tombstones and gave full refunds to consumers who requested a refund. sued for non-payment. The complaint also states that the defendants were known to make phone calls to Pennsylvanians who had recently lost loved ones, falsely claiming they were the cemetery’s preferred contractor or affiliated with the cemetery. claims that
The terms of the settlement will become part of the court records during the trial on January 9, 2023 and will require court approval to become final. Courts also determine whether to impose civil penalties on defendants for unfair trade practices and violations of consumer protection laws.
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