Complaints over paid, but undelivered gravestones

September 24, 2010

Action News first reported on Angelina Lofaro in May 2009. At the time, she'd shut down Newtown Memorials and taken over Miller-Hagan.

Now she is yet again the subject of consumer complaints.

You might remember Peg Buckley.

She paid Angelina Lofaro of Miller-Hagan Memorials $1,400 for a memorial for her husband's grave. Her contract said she'd get it in 90 days, but 7 months later she was still waiting.

"Nobody should have to deal with this when they lose a loved one," Buckley said at that time.

Peg wasn't the only one complaining.

A year ago, Lofaro promised Action News she was working to fulfill every order and just days after Action News got involved Peg did get her husband's monument.

"Right after [Action News] covered the story, things were miraculously resolved very quickly and it all got taken care of; I'm sad to say that we're back here again with basically the same story today," the Director of Bucks County Consumer Affairs Michael Bannon said

Bannon says his office has seen a recent resurgence of complaints, "We have about six open cases so far and we're expecting more to come in."

One of the complainants is Jackie Wynkoop of Levittown, Pa. She ordered a monument for her parents' cemetery plot last fall and says Lofaro told her it would be set by Father's Day.

"And so we stopped and it wasn't there, so I called and left messages and I kept getting no return calls," Wynkoop said.

Jackie has paid for the memorial in full, $2,356.

But now Miller-Hagan is shut down.

The sign says "due to economic and personal reasons it is necessary for us to close. However all current and open orders will be fulfilled."

"I don't believe anything she says at this point," Wynkoop said.

So Action News tracked Lofaro down to confirm her promise.

"I can't, get out, stop, I told you to leave me alone, call my attorney," Lofaro said.

Action News' Nydia Han responded, "Okay, I'm just saying we have a number of people complaining."

Another woman, off camera, then yelled out, "Get out of our place!"

Later, Action News learned Lofaro has filed for bankruptcy and closed Miller-Hagan down with about 40 outstanding orders.

But Lofaro and her personal attorney say customers who paid money will not be sitting in line in bankruptcy to get their money back, but instead will have their orders completed through another company called Art Monument.

And indeed this story may have a happy ending.

Action News talked to the president of Art Monument Company Inc., a manufacturing business in Northeast Philadelphia.

He confirms that he's taken over Lofaro's cases and says "all customers are in production status and should be cleared up in a few weeks or months."

We'll keep you updated on these outstanding Miller-Hagan cases.

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