Owner of a former funeral home gets 20 years in federal prison for organ trafficking
A 46-year-old Colorado native and former funeral home owner named Megan Hess had discovered a way to set herself apart from the stereotypical white-collar criminal. For dissecting 560 bodies and selling body parts without permission from the relatives of the deceased, she was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison on Tuesday. The Sunset Mesa Funeral Home and Hess’s body parts company, Donor Services, were both located in the same facility.
After entering a guilty plea, Hess was given the maximum legal term for fraud. Shirley Koch, her 69-year-old mother, was also convicted and given a 15-year term for her role in the heinous plot. According to Reuters, Koch was in charge of dismembering the bodies so that they could be sold.
In 2018, the illegal dismemberment trade was exposed thanks to a tip from former Hess employees to Reuters, which led to an FBI raid.
A natural follow-up inquiry is, “Who buys the body parts of dead people?” In order to prevent the affluent from having an unfair advantage, it is against the law in the United States to sell internal organs; only organs that have been donated can be used in transplant operations. However, you might profit from the sale of human remains by offering organs and tissues to hospitals and universities.
Hess stole from over 200 families by charging them each $1,000 for cremations that never took place, selling the body parts, and giving the families a mixture of ashes.