A funeral home owner and her mother have been sentenced in Colorado after selling body parts without any consent.
Megan Hess, 46, and Shirly Koch, 69, dissected some 560 corpses between 2010 and 2018, selling parts to medical training companies which did not know they had been fraudulently acquired.
Entire bodies were sold in some cases, prosecutors said. It is legal in the US to donate organs, but not sell them.
Hess was sentenced to 20 years in jail and Koch to 15.
Hess – who ran the Sunset Mesa Funeral Home in the town of Montrose – charged families up to $1,000 (£834) for cremations that never took place and offered them free of charge in exchange for body part donations in some cases, prosecutors said.
Without consent and using forged donor forms, she then sold body parts including arms, legs and heads through Donor Services, her side business on the same premises.
Several relatives who had used Hess for cremations later learned they had received back ashes mixed with the remains of other people.