CHICAGO (CNN/WBBM) — Federal charges were filed against a Chicago father and son for allegedly selling body parts on the black market from people who thought they were donating to science. The pair also allegedly sold parts they knew were diseased without telling their buyers.
It’s a story of precious cargo and broken promises that donated bodies would go to medical research. Promises, allegedly made by Donald Greene Senior and his namesake.
The father-son duo behind the now-shuttered Biological Resource Center of Illinois. Those broken promises led the FBI to the center more than four years ago.
The bodies and body parts weren’t donated at all, but in some cases sold on the black market. A search warrant shows a mother told her her son’s tissues would be donated to college’s and research centers. Instead, parts of him sold for $5,000.
Bodies known to have HIV, Sepsis and Hepatitis were kept on ice, then sold. Some, for up to $100,000.
United States attorneys repeatedly call it a scheme in the charges filed “to defraud customers of the Biological Resource Center of Illinois.”
It’s not illegal to dismember and broker body parts per se. It is illegal to knowingly sell remains positive for infectious disease, like what’s alleged the Greene’s did from 2008 to 2014.
The federal document charging the Greene’s alleges the men sold to Detroit Medical Center’s sports medicine department at least one specimen that quote: “had previously tested positive for hepatitis. This fact was concealed by Donald A. Greene Sr.’s scheme to defraud.”
Greene Senior is charged with wire fraud. Junior faces a felony for intentionally concealing a crime.