The Pennsylvania attorney general’s office said Tuesday it has reached a settlement with the operators of the Upper Darby tombstone and carving business accused of taking thousands of dollars from bereaved consumers and failing to make burial plots on time or at all mark.
Acting Attorney General Michelle Henry said that under the settlement, 1843 LLC owners Gregory J. Stefan Sr., Gregory J. Stefan Jr. and Gerard Stefan will be barred from the tombstone business and will be ordered to pay damages. The amount of compensation was not specified.
A judge must approve the settlement before it becomes effective and will determine any civil penalties to be imposed.
“The Stefan family not only exploited people, but preyed on grieving loved ones at a difficult time in their lives,” Henry said in a statement. “This settlement will ultimately ensure that all hurting Pennsylvania consumers can Recovery. The Attorney General’s Office will continue to use every tool at its disposal to ensure that Pennsylvanians are treated fairly.”
Stefan Sr. was initially indicted by the Attorney General’s Office in 2015 as the sole operator of Lifestone by Stefan, LLC and Stefan Memorials, Inc.
The case ended in a settlement and a court order, but former Attorney General Josh Shapiro accused Stefan Sr. of violating the terms of the agreement. This resulted in a judgment of more than $300,000 and an injunction against Stefan Sr. from owning, managing or being substantially involved in the business of providing or carving gravestones for consumers.
Before this prohibition, however, Stefan and his sons formed a new company under the name 1843 LLC.
The attorney general’s office filed another lawsuit in 2021.
Tombstone businesses associated with Stefans have a history of complaints. Since 2015, local news outlets have reported that consumers have struggled to obtain the tombstones they paid for. The Better Business Bureau, a nonprofit that rates businesses based on trustworthiness, gave Stefan an “F” in Lifestone.
In 2021, Stefan Jr. was arrested by Yeadon Borough Police and charged with theft and related offenses in connection with the Tombstone business. The case is still pending, according to court records.
Michael J. Malloy, who is representing Stefan Jr. in the case, could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.
Stefan’s family could not be reached for comment.
“The Stefan family not only took advantage of people, but preyed on those grieving loved ones at a difficult time in their lives,” said Acting Attorney General Henry. “This settlement will ultimately ensure the healing of all hurt Pennsylvania consumers. “