DETROIT — Federal charges were filed against an Illinois man and his son for allegedly selling body parts on the black market from people who thought they were donating to science.
According to WBBM, the pair were charged in Michigan in an investigation of diseased body parts used for research and education.
Federal prosecutors say researchers paid to use cadavers without knowing they had tested positive for infectious diseases. The pair reportedly kept bodies known to have HIV, sepsis and hepatitis on ice and then selling them, some for up to $100,000.
The latest charges are related to an investigation of a Detroit-area man who was sentenced last year to nine years in prison. The arrest of that man allegedly led investigators to the father-son duo in the Chicago-area.
Donald Greene Sr. is charged with wire fraud. His son, Donald Greene II, is charged with knowing about the scheme but failing to report it. They were associated with Biological Resource Center of Rosemont, Illinois, which provided the remains to medical professionals for a fee.
The US attorneys told reportedly called the incident “a scheme to defraud customers of the Biological Resource Center of Illinois.”
A search warrant revealed that one mother was told her son’s tissues would be donated to colleges and research centers but instead, parts of his body sold for $5,000.
WBBM reports that it is not illegal to dismember and broker body parts, per se, but it is illegal to knowingly sell remains that have tested positive for infectious diseases, as the Greene’s allegedly did from 2008 – 2014.
The charges against the two were filed last week as a criminal information, which means a guilty plea is expected. The names of lawyers representing the Greenes weren’t immediately known.