In Colorado, an ex-owner of a funeral company and her mother were given prison terms for dissecting hundreds of dead bodies and selling the body parts.
Between 2010 and 2018, according to the prosecution, Megan Hess, 46, and Shirly Koch, 69, unlawfully dissected 560 bodies and sold body parts.
This year, both women admitted to defrauding people.
Hess will serve 20 years in prison, while Koch will get 15 years.
Federal prosecutors in Colorado claim that the mother-daughter team harvested body parts—and in some cases, entire bodies—for sale.
Prosecutors claimed that Hess, who operated the Sunset Mesa Funeral Home in the Montrose community, charged families up to $1,000 (£834) for cremations that never happened and, in some instances, offered them free cremations in exchange for body part contributions.
However, families who agreed to contribute body parts frequently had their loved ones’ remains sold for more than they had authorized, while victims who wanted to cremate their deceased loved ones frequently obtained cremains partially or even totally recovered via body broker services.
A Reuters report that resulted in an FBI raid of the residence in 2018 set off the case. Although the selling of body parts is currently unregulated by US federal law, the sale of organs is prohibited in the country.