INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Attorney General’s office says a Colorado-based cremation company is advertising services in Indiana without a valid Indiana funeral home license.
The Attorney General’s office filed a motion for a cease and desist order on Nov. 26 against Heritage Cremation Provider, based in Colorado Springs.
The state says Heritage Cremation Provider advertised through its website, "Trusted Cremation Services in Indiana" including transportation of the deceased to the crematory, obtaining certified copies of death certificates, assistance in filing for VA & Social Security benefits, and rigid container for the return of cremated remains.
Heritage Cremation Provider does not have an Indiana funeral home license, and has never held such a license, said the Attorney General’s motion.
The Indiana Attorney General’s office investigates complaints about unlicensed health care practice and files requests with professional licensing boards who can then issue the cease-and-desist orders.
"It is for the health and safety of all consumers that these individuals stop the work they are doing," Betsy DeNardi, director of consumer protection for the Indiana Attorney General, said in a previous interview with RTV6. "These individuals may not be providing you with the appropriate care that you need. The goal of our office is to prevent and to stop people from continuing the unlicensed practice.”
The attorney general's office is asking the Indiana Board of Funeral and Cemetery Service to issue a cease and desist order to Heritage Cremation Provider.
The board’s next meeting is scheduled for Dec. 6.
Indiana law states that a person who operates a funeral home without a license commits a Class B infraction.
Call 6 Investigates contacted Heritage Cremation Provider via email and phone.
Matt Broderick, a manager with the company, returned our call and said the company’s owner has passed away and the business is "defunct" and no longer operating.
"Cease and desist doesn't really matter," Broderick said.
According to the Better Business Bureau, on Dec. 15, 2017, the Office of Funeral Home and Crematory Registration of the State of Colorado issued a Final Agency Order against Heritage Cremation Provider, effectively revoking their registration.
The Indiana Attorney General’s office says they can’t launch an investigation without a complaint, so they encourage anyone who believes an individual is practicing without a license to contact their office .
"The state is vigorously investigating any complaints we receive," DeNardi said.
They often use websites, social media, and other records as evidence in investigations.
"Anytime you’re advertising services, whether you’ve actually provided them you’re still holding yourself out as if you’re going to provide those service as long as someone were to pay for them," DeNardi said.
According to records obtained by Call 6 Investigates, since Jan. 2016, the Indiana Attorney General’s office has filed a dozen cease-and-desist complaints telling people to stop practicing without a license.
Click here to check if a person or business is licensed in Indiana.
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