Cousins! A funeral home director alongside her mother have officially been sentenced after being found guilty of an operation involving the selling of body parts and issuing fake ashes to clients believed to be the remains of their loved ones!
According to CBS News, Megan Hess of Sunset Mesa Funeral Home received a 20 year prison sentence on Tuesday January 3rd by a Federal judge. She is said to have been issued the maximum sentencing after pleading guilty to mail fraud in November 2021. Reports read that the 46 year old entered a plea deal agreement, resulting in all other charges being dropped.
Megan and her mother Shirley Koch, are said to have transferred bodies or body parts to third parties for research without families’ knowledge. The 69 year old was sentenced to 15 years in prison after victims testified in court about the pain and suffering they’ve endured due to their inhumane operation.
As we previously reported the mother and daughter duo were arrested in 2020 on charges of mail fraud and three counts of illegal transportation of hazardous materials. Court documents indicate that together they offered to cremate bodies with promises to their clients of provide their loved ones remains for a minimum of $1,000. However many of the cremations never occurred.
Authorities state that Megan and Shirley created a nonprofit organization in 2009 named Sunset Mesa Funeral Foundation; described as a body-broker service company for Donor Services. According to the U.S. Justice Department they transferred bodies and/ or body parts to third parties businesses for research without any of the family members knowledge.
Together the duo transferred bodies through the Sunset Mesa Funeral Foundation and Donor Services and ultimately forwarded families ashes that were not of their loved ones. It has been indicated that the bodies and body parts were then tested positive for individuals that had passed away from HIV and Hepatitis B and C. Despite the ladies communicating to buyers that the remains were disease-free.
“Eight years of repeated conduct of this nature is all the court needs to know about her history and character,”said Assistant United States Attorney Tim Neff.
Shirley addressed the court following her sentencing in saying , “I acknowledge my guilt and take responsibility for my actions. I’m very sorry for harm I caused you and your families.”
Megan is said to have declined to address the court.