Price-fixing probe rattles heir-tracing industry

LegalNews - An industry that seeks out heirs to the newly deceased is under scrutiny from the Justice Department, which is looking into whether price-fixing and other anti-competitive practices have ripped off unsuspecting relatives. Two industry executives and a California company have reached plea deals with federal prosecutors in Chicago in the past month as part of an antitrust investigation that is likely to result in additional criminal charges.

"The heir would be sitting there and getting, so to speak, 'offers' from these different services," said Gerry Beyer, a Texas Tech University law professor and expert in estate planning.

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