A pair of cemetery companies are being sued by New York Attorney General Letitia James after she said they failed to provide monuments to grieving families, including some on Long Island.
James announced that she has filed a lawsuit against Polanco Monuments and Heavenly Monuments, which allegedly cheated 26 customers in the Bronx and Nassau County out of more than $50,000.
The lawsuit charges that “the companies and their owners engaged in a deceptive and fraudulent scheme in which they induced vulnerable New Yorkers, coping with the death of loved ones, to pay upfront fees for monuments and tombstones, but never provided the monuments.”
Neither company would provide refunds to families, allegedly failed to provide legal contracts, falsely advertised their service and conducted unsolicited offers to potential customers through mail and through home visits.
James said that the lawsuit seeks retribution for the customers who were cheated by the two companies, and for those who were subjected to the companies’ illegal, unsolicited offers through mail or home visits.
It is alleged that the owners, Ramon Polanco and Juan Polanco employed tactics to lure consumers into paying upfront fees for cemetery monuments that they never intended on providing.
When consumers followed up to inquire about the status of their purchase, they were repeatedly stalled with excuses and often, their calls went unanswered.
James said that many of their contracts failed to include terms required under state law, and that when consumers showed up in person to inquire about their purchase status, they learned that the businesses had abruptly closed without any prior notice.
“During the darkest time in their lives, families shouldn’t have to deal with the additional burden of being preyed upon and cheated by companies that are supposed to help them,” James said in a statement.
“Polanco and Heavenly Monuments shamelessly stole thousands from grieving New Yorkers who were simply trying give family members and loved ones the respect they deserve.”
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