Insurance Fraud: Exaggerating the Reports of Their Death

by Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE


John William Amis, 48, pleaded guilty in December to four felony counts. Amis, a former Tulsa, Oklahoma area funeral home owner was sentenced in May 2012 to three years in prison for making false claims for insurance. Court records show that Amis was charged with falsely reporting the deaths of people who were still alive to obtain the proceeds of their prepaid funeral policies.

Tulsa County District Judge Kurt Glassco imposed a split 12-year sentence that requires Amis to serve nine years of probation after he completes his three-year prison term. Glassco also ordered Amis to pay $295,510 in restitution. Amis was jailed after being sentenced.

Although Amis was sentenced on four counts, an estimated 70 victims are in line to get restitution, aspokeswoman for the Attorney General’s Office told the press. An investigator’s affidavit, filed in 2010, identified Amis as a former owner of Amis-Kennard Funeral Service, with locations in Broken Arrow and Catoosa.

He was charged in Rogers County in April with exploitation of an elderly person or a disabled adult.

  • Check the funeral home director’s name on your state’s Funeral Directors Bureau website to ensure the director you are dealing with is licensed and that there are no disciplinary actions against him/her.
  • Be sure to tell your loved ones that you have acquired this insurance and give them the policy information so that they know they are entitled to its benefits when the time comes.


Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE, is a California attorney, insurance consultant and expert witness specializing in insurance issues including fraud. Mr. Zalma has also written a number of books and writes a free newsletter on insurance fraud. See his new program on insurance fraud, “Who Got Caught?” online at