A federal court judge in Colorado has handed down a sentence of 20 years in prison to the proprietor of a funeral shop in that state who was accused of illegally selling body parts and providing customers fake ashes.

According to The Daily Sentinel, Megan Hess was given the maximum sentence after she entered a guilty plea to the charge of mail fraud in November. As part of the plea agreement, other charges that had been brought against her were dropped.

According to the authorities, Hess and her mother, Shirley Koch, who also pleaded guilty to mail fraud, carried out the illegal transfer of bodies or body parts to third parties for the sake of study on hundreds of instances without the knowledge of the families involved.

Koch was given the same sentence of 15 years in prison by United States District Judge Christine Arguello in Grand Junction on Tuesday.

After hearing from victims about the anguish the scam had caused them, she handed down sentences to both of the defendants.

Outside of the Wayne Aspinall Courthouse, a protest is being led by the granddaughter of one of the victims.
Outside of the Wayne Aspinall Courthouse, a protest is being led by the granddaughter of one of the victims.
Hess, 48, and Koch, 69, were the proprietors of the Sunset Mesa Funeral Home, which was located in the western city of Montrose. Credit: Getty

They were taken into custody in the year 2020 and charged with six counts of committing fraud through the mail as well as three counts of illegally transporting dangerous items.

An indictment from a grand jury stated that from 2010 until 2018, Hess and Koch offered to cremate bodies and provide the remains to families at a cost of $1,000 (approximately £830), but many of the cremations never took place. The indictment covered the time period from 2010 until 2018.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here