U.S. funeral home owner who sold body parts pleads guilty to fraud

FILE PHOTO: The Sunset Mesa Funeral Directors and Donor Services building in Montrose

By John Shiffman

(Reuters) – A former Colorado funeral home owner pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a federal charge of defrauding relatives of the dead by dissecting their family members’ corpses and selling the body parts without permission, a practice exposed in a 2018 Reuters investigative report https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-bodies-funeral.

Megan Hess, who operated a funeral home called Sunset Mesa and a human body parts business called Donor Services from the same building, entered the plea to the charge of fraud at a hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gordon Gallagher in Grand Junction, Colorado. Gallagher scheduled Hess, who had previously pleaded not guilty, to be sentenced in January, with the prosecution calling for 12 to 15 years in prison.

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