Two women in Southern California are facing federal charges of running a scam involving fake funerals.
How did it work? Prosecutors say the women took out insurance policies on fictitious people and then staged funeral services for them.
Two other women have previously pleaded guilty in the case. The indictment lists just two fabricated deaths, but authorities say there may have been as many as seven.
In most cases, say prosecutors, the supposedly dead people were "cremated." But in one case, it's alleged that a phony burial was held at a cemetery in Compton.
The case has surprised many in the funeral industry.
A spokeswoman for the National Funeral Directors Association says while there are reports from time to time of scams involving funeral workers skimming from trust funds, she's never heard of an entire fake funeral.
Copyright 2015 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
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