The operator of a Colorado funeral home who was accused of stealing body parts and selling them to medical and scientific buyers, making hundreds of thousands of dollars in what the authorities called an “illegal body part scheme,” pleaded guilty to mail fraud on Tuesday, the Justice Department said.
The woman, Megan Hess, 45, the principal figure in the scheme, was assisted by her mother, Shirley Koch, who is in her late 60s, prosecutors said. As part of a plea agreement, eight other criminal charges against Ms. Hess were dropped. She could face up to 20 years in prison.
“I exceeded the scope of the consent and I’m trying to make an effort to make it right,” Ms. Hess said in United States District Court in Grand Junction, Colo., on Tuesday, according to The Daily Sentinel. “I’m taking responsibility.”