Gravestone company owner sentenced to jail

Bryan Cohen Sep. 20, 2011, 2:18am


ST. LOUIS (Legal Newsline) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced on Monday that Jeffrey Thomure, who did business as Standard Monument Company, has been found in criminal and civil contempt of an injunction.

The St. Louis County Circuit Court found Thomure in contempt of an injunction that was issued on Aug. 23, 2006. Koster alleged that Thomure deliberately continued to use deceptive and unfair practices to sell gravestone monuments to consumers by falsely promising to deliver the monuments.

The court sentenced Thomure to 30 days in the St. Louis County Jail for criminal contempt. Costs and penalties were also assessed against the defendant for civil contempt.

"Consumers are vulnerable when they lose a loved one, and Thomure's actions have only added to their grief," Koster said. "Despite the previous injunction, Jeffery Thomure continued to take advantage of consumers, which our office will not tolerate. With the court's judgment, I hope consumers can find solace in knowing this wrongdoer has been punished."

Judge Colleen Dolan signed the judgment, finding that the defendant engaged in fraud, deception, false promise, false pretense, misrepresentation, unfair practice, or concealment, suppression or omission of material fact in connection with the sale or offer for sale of gravestone monuments, which violates a permanent injunction entered by the court on August 23, 2006.

The prior judgment required Thomure, the owner and operator of the St. Louis-based Standard Monument Company, to complete all outstanding orders, pay $10,000 in civil penalties and refrain from further violations of the Merchandising Practices Act. Since the 2006 order, Thomure allegedly collected at least $14,662.84 from consumers while failing to provide the gravestones or a refund.

In addition to the 30 days of jail time, Thomure was ordered to pay $40,000 in civil penalties, $2,000 for court costs and to deliver and install completed gravestones by January 1 on all outstanding customer orders or give refunds to all consumers who have paid for a gravestone but have not received it.

A warrant will be issued for the arrest of Thomure.

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