October 28, 2011

First U.S. conviction for organ trafficking

NY organ trafficker admits buying kidneys in Israel for $10,000... and selling them in U.S. for $120,000

Lawyers for a man who pleaded guilty Thursday in the first ever federal conviction for illegal organ trafficking say he was performing life-saving services for severely ill people.

Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, from New York, admitted in a Trenton federal court to brokering three illegal kidney transplants for desperate New Jersey-based customers in exchange for payments of $120,000 or more. He also pleaded guilty to a conspiracy count for brokering an illegal kidney sale.
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The 60-year-old was arrested two years ago following a huge investigation into corruption in New Jersey.

The probe led to 46 arrests, including several rabbis, the New York Daily News reports.

He was nabbed after an FBI informant who was pretending to be a businessman told him he was looking for a new kidney for a sick uncle

Rosenbaum was caught on tape boasting that he had brokered 'quite a lot' of illegal transplants.
He told the informant: 'I am what you call a matchmaker.'

'I bring a guy what I believe, he's suitable for your uncle ... I've never had a failure.'

Prosecutors said he bought the organs from vulnerable people in Israel for as little as $10,000, then sold them here for a minimum of $120,000.
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New Jersey's U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said: 'A black market in human organs is not only a grave threat to public health, it reserves lifesaving treatment for those who can best afford it at the expense of those who cannot. We will not tolerate such an affront to human dignity.'

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Under 1984 federal law, it is illegal for anyone to knowingly buy or sell organs for transplant.
Posted by Jill Fallon at October 28, 2011 11:51 AM | Permalink