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Funeral Faker Faces 20 Years For Fraudulently Taking Out Insurance on Pretend People

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An elderly Los Angeles woman found guilty of fraudulently seeking insurance policies for two non-existent people and staging their fake funerals is now facing up to 20 years in prison for her crimes.

The Department of Justice reports that 69-year-old Jean Crump, a onetime funeral parlor employee, was found guilty last week of federal mail and wire fraud charges as part of a scam to take out insurance polices on two pretend people.

Crump and her co-hort, 63-year-old Faye Shilling, even went so far as to fill up caskets to make it look like they contained the bodies of Jim Davis and Laura Urich--two people who, except on paper, didn't actually exist, according to City News Service.

Shilling pleaded guilty to charges earlier this year, and has already been sentenced to three years in prison and has been ordered to pay about $330,500 in restitution.

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The scam also involved three other women, including Christine Alexander, who "was given immunity from prosecution in exchange for her testimony." Alexander testified she posed as Davis' niece in order to collect $50,000 on an insurance policy in his name. The other two women involved, 66-year-old Barbara Ann Lynn, and 37-year-old Lydia Eileen Pearce, have both pleaded guilty to charges stemming from their role in the fake funeral plot.

The five women bilked the insurance companies out of nearly $1 million.

Late last year, two other sets of women were busted in the Los Angeles area for fraudulently funding fake funerals.