Funeral Director Arrested for Selling Prepaid Policies and Pocketing the Money

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark.- A former funeral director in Russellville was arrested after selling prepaid funeral policies and pocketing the money. 

"Everybody was talking about how much cheaper he was on everything," says Shirlie Gray.  "Like everybody we were just trying to save a dime."

Gray and her husband, Junior had been paying toward pre-need policies at Broussard Funeral home since 2012. 

Gray says when they met James Broussard he seemed like an honest person.  The Grays paid more than $10,000 to Broussard over the years, eventually paying off their policies. 

"We had picked out our caskets, paid for a funeral... everything," says Gray. 

Not a dime of it ever went toward their policies.

Gray found out the money had never been turned in from a private investigator.  

Broussard was arrested for theft of property and seven counts of fraudulent insurance acts.  According to court documents he took more than $90,000 from people pre-paying on policies since 2012.

"When we found out he hadn't turned it in, it scared us," says Gray.

Broussard had a prior arrest in 2016 for harassment and indecent exposure to an employee who worked at his funeral home while it was still open. 

Investigators say these fraudulent policies weren't discovered until April of last year.

"They need to put him somewhere he can't hurt nobody else because it does hurt," says Gray.

The funeral home has since been taken over by a new owner and the name changed.  The Grays say the new owner is honoring the policy that she and her husband paid for.

Broussard is due back in court May 22.

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