Body Snatchers/Corpse Robbers in NY: 7 plead Guilty...
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Body Snatchers in NY Update.
What People won't do for Money: Alistair Cooke.
7 Plead Guilty in Corpse Plundering Scam
Oct 18, 6:20 PM (ET)
By TOM HAYS
NEW YORK (AP) - Seven funeral home directors linked to a scheme to plunder corpses and sell the body parts for transplants pleaded guilty to undisclosed charges and have agreed to cooperate with investigators, prosecutors announced Wednesday.
The unidentified directors secretly pleaded guilty in the probe of what investigators say was a plot to harvest bone and tissue and sell it to biomedical supply companies, Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said.
"It is clear that many more funeral home directors were involved in this enterprise," Hynes said at a news conference.
The seven entered their pleas in closed courtrooms and their names were withheld, but defense attorneys said that among those cooperating was the director of a funeral home that took parts from the body of "Masterpiece Theatre" host Alistair Cooke, who died in 2004.
Prosecutors allege Michael Mastromarino, a former oral surgeon, and three other men secretly removed skin, bone and other parts from up to 1,000 bodies from funeral homes, without the permission of families. He allegedly made millions of dollars by selling the stolen tissue to biomedical companies that supply material for common procedures including dental implants and hip replacements.
They were charged in February with counts including body stealing, unlawful dissection and forgery in a case a district attorney called "something out of a cheap horror movie." Read more.