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Father and son charged with selling diseased body parts on the black market

Posted at 9:25 AM, Apr 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-11 13:49:18-04

Chicago, IL (WBBM) -- A Chicago area father and son are now federally charged for allegedly knowingly selling diseased body parts.

Black market body part brokering is a grizzly, big money reality CBS 2 has investigated for years.

The feds honed in on a key link–notorious Detroit body broker Arthur Rathburn. He’s now in federal prison, and evidence collected in his case led the fed to the Chicago area, to Donald Greene Sr. and Donald Greene Jr.

CBS 2 first broke the story of precious cargo and broken promises that donated bodies would go to medical research in 2015. Those promises were allegedly made by Greene Sr. and his namesake.

The father and son duo was behind the now shuttered Biological Resource Center of Illinois.

Those broken promises led the FBI to the center more than four years ago.

Bodies and body parts weren’t donated at all, but in some cases were sold on the black market.

Per a search warrant, a mother was told her son’s tissues would be donated to colleges and research centers. Instead, parts of him sold for $5,000.

It goes on saying bodies known to have HIV, sepsis and hepatitis were kept on ice and then sold, some for up to $100,000.

In the charges filed, United States attorneys repeatedly call it “a scheme to defraud customers of the Biological Resource Center of Illinois.”

It’s not illegal to dismember and broker body parts, per se. It is illegal to knowingly sell remains positive for infectious diseases, like what it is alleged the Greenes did from 2008 to 2014.

The federal document charging the Greenes alleges the men sold to Detroit Medical Center’s sports medicine department at least one specimen that “had previously tested positive for hepatitis. This fact was concealed from DMC by Donald A. Green Sr.’s scheme to defraud.”

Greene Sr. is charged with wire fraud.

Greene Jr. faces a felony for intentionally concealing a crime.

CBS 2 was not able to reach the Greenes for comment.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Detroit, which is handling the case, would not comment on anything beyond what’s in the documents.