Two women accused of staging sham funerals to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in life insurance payments have pleaded not guilty in federal court in Los Angeles.
Sixty-year-old Faye Shilling and 67-year-old mortuary worker Jean Crump entered pleas Monday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Abrams.
The pair were arrested last week on mail and wire fraud charges. They remain free on $10,000 bond.
Prosecutors say the pair schemed to defraud insurance companies and funeral-related businesses out of more than $750,000. The two are accused of purchasing policies on fictitious people, then staging their funerals.
Caskets were allegedly weighted with various materials to make it appear they contained corpses.