RIPLEY, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi funeral home has been fined $10,000 for what authorities say was an illegal practice of burying people in cheaper caskets than planned before their deaths.

News outlets report Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann issued a statement Tuesday detailing the practice by Ripley Funeral Services LLC.

The statement says the Ripley funeral home substituted plastic burial containers for concrete ones eight times between 2017 and 2018. It says the parlor also substituted different color caskets than what preneed policy owners chose about 20 times between 2016 and 2018.

Funeral home attorney Tony Farese says many of the swaps were made to accommodate relatives of the deceased, and all state law violations were made out of compassion for grieving families. He says a disgruntled employee reported the swaps.

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