Investigations

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Colorado Individuals Sentenced in Scheme To Steal and Fraudulently Resell Body Parts and Bodies in Violation of Hazardous Material Regulations

On January 3, 2023, the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado sentenced Megan Hess and Shirley Koch for their participation in a scheme to steal and fraudulently resell body parts and bodies. Hess was sentenced to 20 years of incarceration, 3 years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment. Koch was sentenced to 15 of years of incarceration, 3 years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment. Koch was also ordered to forfeit $68,948.50. Hess and Koch pleaded guilty to charges in connection with the scheme in July 2022.
 
According to court documents, from 2010 through 2018, Hess and Koch participated in a scheme to steal the bodies or body parts of hundreds of victims and sell those remains to buyers purchasing the remains for scientific, medical, or educational purposes. The investigation also revealed that Hess and Koch shipped bodies and body parts that tested positive for or belonged to people who had died from infectious diseases after certifying to buyers that the remains were disease free. The shipments were made through the mail or on commercial air flights in violation of DOT regulations regarding the transportation of hazardous material.
 
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with the FBI.