You know what? We've (probably) officially heard it all! A mother and daughter pair of funeral directors have been charged by the Feds for alleged mail fraud and illegal transportation of hazardous materials. The two ALLEGEDLY were using their funeral home to supply a body brokering business. Officials say some of those remains came from individuals with infectious diseases and were shipped without required warnings. You read that right, they were selling the body parts of the dead they were entrusted with WITHOUT the permission of the deceased's next of kin!
Megan Hess and her mother, Shirley Koch, plead not guilty Tuesday in their initial hearing and are suspected to be out on bond.
"The FBI has been investigating Sunset Mesa and they said they believe the crimes started in at least 2010 and lasted for nearly a decade. They've identified dozens of victims and believe the scheme brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“The defendants are charged with committing a blatant fraud on many, many victim. This betrays a fundamental trust during one of the worst times in a person’s life – having to make arrangements for a deceased loved one,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn said in a statement. “It is hard to imagine the pain and worry of those who used Sunset Mesa and not knowing what happened to their loved ones’ remains.”
The indictment paints a grim picture of what allegedly occurred inside the funeral home. It says in hundreds of cases, Hess and Koch would either not bring up body donation, or only obtain permission for limited harvesting, of tissue or corneas instead. They would then sell most or all of the decedent's body through their nonprofit brokering business. They are also accused of supplying family with what they falsely purported to be the cremains of their loved one, but were actually co-mingled ashes, or other substances altogether.
Officials say they consider the organization that purchased the body parts to also be victims of the alleged fraud perpetrated by Hess and Koch."
If this were a case tried and executed with hood justice these women would be missing a few organs of their own however, it's not and we don't condone violence of any sort. . .but this couldn't be our loved ones. . . not at all!
The mail fraud charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years each, the other charges have a five year maximum. Each charge carries a potential $250,000.
This isn't a stiff enough penalty!