A St. Louis federal jury has awarded $491 million in damages in a lawsuit linked to the collapse years ago of a suburban company that sold prepaid funerals.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1Hqn8w1 ) reports Monday's verdict ended a trial over the 2009 lawsuit by state life and health guarantee associations and a special receiver set up to wind down National Prearranged Services Inc.

NPS promised customers that money from prearranged funeral contracts would be held in trust. But federal authorities say officers and others lavishly spent some of the funds. Officials have said more than 97,000 victims lost money.

The damages include $391 million against PNC Bank and $100 million against the now-defunct Forever Enterprises holding company.

PNC wasn't involved with NPS but succeeded a former trustee of NPS assets.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com