WINFIELD, W.Va. — A West Virginia funeral home owner has been sentenced to three to 30 years in prison for cashing in on pre-need funeral contracts before the customers’ deaths.

WCHS-TV reports Chad Harding was sentenced Thursday in Putnam County Circuit Court for three felony charges of fraudulent claim to an insurance company.

Harding owns The Harding Group, which includes Gatens-Harding Funeral Home in Poca.

Court records show Harding collected more than $900,000 from false claims filed for funeral services against more than 100 people who bought preneed policies. None of those people had died.

A settlement with the state attorney general’s office last year prohibits the funeral home and its owners from selling such contracts in the future or accepting payments for services prior to a customer’s death. Existing contracts would be subject to occasional audits.

Information from: WCHS-TV,