For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
(208) 334-4112

Date: September 30, 2003

Wasden Files Suit Against Former Owners of Riverside Funeral Home

(Boise) - Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has filed a lawsuit against Mitchell and Kimberly McBride, former owners of Riverside Funeral Home in Garden City. The lawsuit alleges that more than 200 area citizens purchased funeral home packages and that the McBrides did not put the funds in a trust as required by Idaho law.

"These Idahoans spent thousands of dollars to ensure that their funeral expenses were paid and their burial wishes were arranged before they died," Attorney General Wasden said. "Now they are forced to buy another funeral plan, a heavy burden for seniors living on fixed incomes."

The Attorney General's Consumer Protection Unit and the Bureau of Occupational Licenses compiled a list of customers who purchased pre-need funeral arrangements from the owners or employees of Riverside Funeral Home between July 2000 and July 2003.

The Attorney General is seeking restitution for the victims, civil penalties of up to $5,000 for each violation of the Idaho Consumer Protection Act, and reimbursement for attorney fees, costs, and investigation expenses.

Mr. McBride's Idaho mortician's license was suspended earlier this year by the Idaho Board of Morticians and the Board will seek permanent revocation of his license at a hearing next month. Kimberly McBride was never licensed by the Idaho Board of Morticians to sell funeral packages .

The McBrides have also filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which is currently pending in federal court.

"Although we were not able to determine the exact amount of money the McBrides took from their customers, my office estimates the amount at more than $200,000," Attorney General Wasden said.

Consumers who purchased prepaid funeral packages from Riverside Funeral Home should file a complaint with the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Unit. To request a complaint form, consumers should call (208) 334–2424 or (800) 432–3545. The complaint form also is available on the Attorney General's website and can be accessed by clicking here.

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