The Pennsylvania attorney general’s office announced Tuesday that it has reached a settlement with the operators of an Upper Darby tombstone and carving business accused of bilking bereaved consumers of thousands of dollars and failing to produce grave markers on time or at all.
According to the agreement, Gregory J. Stephen Sr., Gregory J. Stephan Jr. and Gerard Stephan, owners of 1843 LLC, will be banned from the tombstone business and ordered to pay restitution, Attorney General Michelle Henry said. The refund amount is not specified.
The judge must approve it before it can be enforced, and will also determine any civil penalties.
In a statement, Henry said: “Stephens not only helped people but saved those grieving loved ones at a difficult time in their lives. “This settlement will finally ensure that all affected Pennsylvania consumers are fully compensated. The Attorney General’s Office will continue to use every tool available to ensure that Pennsylvanians are treated fairly.
Stefan Sr. Originally in 2015, the sole operator of Lifestone was acquired by Stefan, LLC and Stefan Memorials, Inc. He was prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office.
That case ended in a settlement and court order, but former Attorney General Josh Shapiro accused Stephen Sr. of violating the terms of the settlement. That resulted in a judgment of more than $300,000 and an injunction barring Stephen Sr. from owning, operating or having any significant involvement in a business that designs headstones for consumers.
Before that order, however, Stefan and his sons formed a new business under the name 1843 LLC.
The Attorney General’s Office sued again in 2021.
Headstone businesses associated with Stefan have a history of complaints. Since 2015, local news outlets have reported that consumers are having trouble getting the headstones they paid for. The Better Business Bureau, a nonprofit organization that rates businesses for integrity, gave Lifestone an “F” by Stefan.
In the year In 2021, Stephan Jr. was arrested by Yeadon Borough Police and charged with theft and related offenses in connection with the tombstone business. That case remains active, according to court records.
Michael J. Malloy, the attorney representing Stefan Jr. in that case, could not be reached Tuesday night for comment.
Stefan’s family members could not be reached for comment.
Attorney General Henry said: “Stephens not only took advantage of people, but saved those grieving loved ones at a difficult time in their lives.” “This settlement will finally ensure that all Pennsylvania consumers who were harmed are fully compensated.”