Funeral directors face trial for selling corpses for spare parts
THREE American funeral directors sold 244 corpses at £500 a time to a New York businessman who trafficked in the resale of often-diseased body parts, a court has heard.
Stolen bones, skin and tissue - almost impossible to trace from donor to recipient due to forged documents - were transplanted in unsuspecting medical patients worldwide, the grand jury in Philadelphia found. The case will now go to trial.
Families of the dead had no idea the bodies were being ransacked.
Michael Mastromarino, a businessman and former dentist, ran the scheme with the help of a team of "cutters" who stole the body parts, authorities said.
Mastromarino, who ran a company called Biomedical Tissue Services, is already facing charges in New York for allegedly plundering 1077 bodies.
"No penalty is too harsh for these guys, for the just unbelievably craven nature of what they did," district attorney Lynne Abraham said.
Funeral directors Louis Garzone, 65, Gerald Garzone, 47, and James McCafferty, 37, were arrested yesterday on thousands of counts, ranging from running a corrupt organisation to forgery and theft of body parts.
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