DES MOINES, Iowa (KCAU) — Customers of an Emmetsburg funeral home defrauded as far back as 2019 are getting a chance to reclaim their money.
The Iowa Insurance Division (IID) is now accepting reimbursement claims from customers who were harmed by Andrew Joyce of the Joyce Funeral Home after the Palo Alto County District Court approved the claims process in August.
The IID was appointed as the receiver of the Joyce Funeral Home on June 5, 2020, to collect the funeral home’s assets and make them available to the harmed consumers. A release from IID stated that an investigation revealed that some deposits did not match burials, indicating thousands of dollars of preneed funeral agreements, but the money was never placed in a trust as required by Iowa law.
Joyce was then charged in December 2020 with four felonies: ongoing criminal conduct, first-degree theft, second-degree theft, and failure to trust preneed funeral services. Complaints filed by the Iowa Insurance Fraud Bureau claimed Joyce wrongly sold preneed funeral agreements and the money was used for Joyce’s personal and other expenses. A cease and desist order was also issued against Joyce on October 18, 2019.
Insurance regulators are contacting those known to have suffered losses, but Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen is encouraging anyone that may have been harmed to fill out a claim form either online or via mail.
“Letters via postal mail will be sent to those known to have been harmed in this case in the coming days, however, there may be more people still out there that have not yet come forward,” Ommen said. “I encourage any and all Iowans that have been harmed to fill out a claim form either online or via mail for our office to review.”
Customers harmed may submit a claim online or by sending the IID a completed paper claim form. Claims must be submitted on or before November 7, 2022. Supporting documentation will help the IID to evaluate and process the claims, but it is not needed for harmed customer to make a claim.
Anyone with questions about the claims process can contact Connie Dykstra with the IID by email at email@example.com or by phone at 515-314-9380.