Funeral Home Owner Confesses to Dreadful Scheme

Funeral Home Owner Confesses to Dreadful Scheme

She Was Selling BODY PARTS – Finally Pleads Guilty

( – When people leave loved ones in the care of a funeral home, they expect the facility to treat their bodies with respect. An operator in Colorado failed her clients multiple times with a scheme she cooked up to steal body parts from the deceased and sell them for research purposes. On July 5, Megan Hess entered a deal to plead guilty to one count of mail fraud and aiding and abetting.

Hess operated her scam from 2010 to 2018. She ran the Sunset Mesa Funeral Home with her mother, Shirley Koch, who also got involved in the scheme. The pair would offer cremation services to families. When they received an individual’s remains, they would sell off body parts under the Sunset Mesa Funeral Foundation, a body-broker service Hess created. The families never gave them permission, and the funeral directors never told them what they were doing with deceased family members but charged the families for cremation services. The unsuspecting victims received fake ashes in return.

The mother and daughter also victimized the research and education businesses that thought they were purchasing legitimately donated body parts. Hess and her mother falsely certified remains were free of disease, sending bodies with infectious conditions.

Hess initially pleaded not guilty to the charges, but after changing her plea, she could face up to 20 years in prison. Prosecutors have asked for 12 to 15 years. The court hasn’t set her sentencing date.

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