CHICAGO – Predatory funeral homes have been accused of cashing in on Chicago's relentless crime wave by taking advantage of a taxpayer-funded scheme that pays $7,500 in funeral expenses for homicide victims' families. Advocates have accused some funeral directors of inflating prices or charging families for services they never received. "Every funeral home in the state knows that victims get $7,500 for a funeral and it's their goal to charge the entire amount because it's easy money," Susan Johnson, executive director of Chicago Survivors, told Fox News.
Johnson, whose organization helps people who have lost loved ones to homicide, claims some zero in on people receiving money from the Illinois Crime Victim's Compensation fund. The state – along with the federal government – provides eligible victims of violent crime with up to $27,000 in financial assistance for out-of-pocket expenses. The families of murder victims get $7,500 for funeral costs.