ST. CHARLES COUNTY, MO (KTVI) - A St. Charles County Judge is now considering a fraud claim brought by Betsy Faria’s daughters. Faria was murdered four days after signing over a life insurance policy to her friend, Pam Hupp.
Police interviewed Hupp the morning after the murder. She told investigators Betsy signed over a $150,000 policy. Hupp told police that Betsy had asked her, “Will you be my beneficiary on my life policies and make sure my kids get it when they need it?”
Hupp drove Betsy home December 27, 2011. Hours later, Betsy was found stabbed to death. Police focused on Betsy’s husband, Russ.
Today, Betsy’s daughters haven’t seen a dime of that life insurance money. They’re suing for it and Hupp claims she’s spent the money.
“I used that money to buy a house on the Troy Courthouse steps,” Hupp said in court Tuesday.
Hupp has repeatedly changed her story in taped testimony about what she was supposed to do with the money. She’s said everything from claiming she was giving it to Betsy's daughters to saying the money was hers.
“I’m not going to argue about her credibility,” said Michael Kruse, Hupp’s attorney. “She’s not a credible witness, but that’s not the issue.”
Kruse acknowledged Hupp’s credibility problems four times in his closing arguments.
“Ms. Hupp’s position, as unreliable as she may be, as incredible as she may be, is still supported by the plaintiff’s evidence,” which is the signed beneficiary form. Kruse said the signed contract couldn’t be clearer.
Kruse added that Lincoln County law enforcement used Hupp by pressuring her to create a trust for the daughters.
“This was a criminal case that was going on in the murder charge against Russ Faria. The prosecution’s concern was that Pam Hupp just received $150,000 on this life insurance policy. That’s a 150,000 reasons why she should have been named in that jury trial as a suspect and they weren’t allowed to do that. Judge Mennemeyer did not allow that in because of the trust, the officers put the pressure on Ms. Hupp to create that living trust.”
Kruse later added, “The trust was nothing to do with Ms. Hupp. That wasn’t her idea. She was spoon-fed that idea by law enforcement in Lincoln County in order to create the conviction.”
Court records show Hupp created a revocable trust for Betsy’s daughters on November 13, 2013, just one week before Russ Faria’s first trial. Russ was convicted November 21, 2013. Hupp revoked the trust on December 10, 2013, a couple of weeks after his conviction.
Russ got a new trial after a joint investigation by Fox 2 News and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch exposed questions about the life insurance and other evidence prohibited from his first trial. He was acquitted in a retrial in November 2015.
The judge could make his decision about the life insurance proceeds at any time. There is so much incredible testimony that came out in this week’s civil trial that we will continue to reveal it in the next couple weeks.