The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office on Tuesday said it has reached a settlement with the operators of an Upper Darby gravestone and engraving business accused of taking thousands of dollars from consumers who lost loved ones and failing to produce cemetery markers on time or at all.
Under the settlement, Gregory J. Stefan Sr., Gregory J. Stefan Jr., and Gerard Stefan, the owners of 1843 LLC, will be prohibited from the gravestone business and will be required to pay restitution, said Acting Attorney General Michelle Henry. The amount of the restitution was not specified.
A judge must approve the settlement before it takes effect, and also will determine any civil penalties to be imposed.
“The Stefans didn’t just take advantage of people, but preyed on those grieving loved ones at a difficult time in their lives,” Henry said in a statement. “This settlement will finally ensure that all Pennsylvania consumers who were harmed are made whole. The Office of Attorney General will continue to use every tool at its disposal to ensure that Pennsylvanians are treated fairly.”
Stefan Sr. was originally sued by the Attorney General’s Office in 2015 as the sole operator of Lifestone by Stefan, LLC and Stefan Memorials, Inc.
That case ended in a settlement and court order, but former Attorney General Josh Shapiro accused Stefan Sr. of violating the terms of that agreement. That resulted in a judgment for more than $300,000 and an injunction that barred Stefan Sr. from owning, managing, or having any significant involvement in a business that provides or engraves headstones for consumers.
Before that injunction, however, Stefan and his sons established a new business under the name 1843 LLC.
The Attorney General’s Office sued again in 2021.
Headstone businesses associated with the Stefans have a history of complaints. Since 2015, local news outlets have reported that consumers had trouble getting headstones they paid for. The Better Business Bureau, a nonprofit that grades businesses on trustworthiness, gave Lifestone by Stefan an “F.”
In 2021, Stefan Jr. was arrested by Yeadon Borough police and charged with theft and related offenses in connection with the gravestone business. That case remains active, according to court records.
Michael J. Malloy, a lawyer representing Stefan Jr. in that case, could not reached for comment Tuesday evening.
Stefan family members could not be reached for comment.
“The Stefans didn’t just take 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 finally ensure that all Pennsylvania consumers who were harmed are made whole.”