Tombstone companies' assets frozen

Nick Rees Sep. 21, 2009, 11:29pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Legal Newsline) - A temporary injunction and asset freeze has been granted against two Tennessee individuals who allegedly took orders for tombstones and grave markers that were either delivered late or not delivered at all.

"I am pleased with the court's ruling," Attorney General Bob Cooper said. "This order will provide some important initial protections to prevent other consumers from ending up in the same situation as many of the victims of this case."

Marcus Donnell Jones, the owner of Jones Memorials and Half Off Stones, and Wayne Monk, owner of Monk Memorials and a former employee of Jones Memorials and Half Off Stones, are alleged to have violated the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act by not delivering good in a timely manner or at all after accepting orders in person and via websites from consumers nationwide.

Cooper's lawsuit against the two was filed on behalf of Mary Clement, the director of the Division of Consumer Affairs.

The defendants, who failed to appear at the hearing, were issued an order prohibiting them from offering goods or services or accepting orders unless the financial ability to deliver the goods in a timely fashion and as represented to the consumer is available.

Consumers are also provided protections if the defendants are not able to deliver goods within the delivery date stated. The defendants must notify consumers in writing of non-delivery and give them the option to cancel and receive a full refund within ten business days of consumer's request.

A court ordered accounting of all assets was also required by the court, including all assets relating to the sale of tombstones, grave markers and any investment opportunity.

The asset freeze ordered against the defendants prohibits them from using any assets. The defendants will be required on future orders to place at least 25 percent of any proceeds from any continued sales of tombstones or grave markers into a court-held account.

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