World Bulletin / News Desk
An Israeli man who pleaded guilty to illegally brokering kidney transplants for profit in the United States, the first such conviction under federal law, was sentenced on Wednesday to 2-1/2 years in prison, prosecutors said.
Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, a 61-year old Israeli citizen who lived in Brooklyn, pleaded guilty last October to charges that he brokered kidney transplants between paid donors and recipients on three occasions.
Prosecutors said Rosenbaum charged between $120,000 and $150,000 to help three New Jersey residents find kidneys for transplant between 2006 and 2009.
He also pleaded to a count of conspiracy to broker a fourth kidney transaction following a sting operation leading to his arrest involving an undercover FBI agent who pretended to have a sick uncle.
Prosecutors said Rosenbaum typically found donors in Israel through newspaper advertisements who were willing to give up a kidney in exchange for payment, and that he helped arrange the necessary blood tests to ensure a match and for the donors' travel to the United States.
He also helped donors and recipients invent a cover story to trick hospital staff into thinking the donation was a purely altruistic exchange between friends or relatives, which is legal, rather than an illegal business deal, according to prosecutors.
Paul J. Fishman, the New Jersey U.S. Attorney, whose office prosecuted the case, said Rosenbaum was motivated by profit, not the saving of lives.
"A black market where the moneyed sick can buy replacement parts from the less fortunate is not only grim, it apportions lifesaving treatments unfairly, insults donor dignity, and violates the law," Fishman said in a statement following the sentencing by Judge Anne E. Thompson.
"Prison is an appropriate punishment for Levy Rosenbaum's illegal capitalization on others' desperation. Although Rosenbaum painted himself as a benevolent kidney matchmaker, the criminal profits went right into his pocket."
Rosenbaum's lawyers could not immediately be reached for comment. Rosenbaum had been facing up to five years in prison for each of the four counts to which he pleaded guilty, prosecutors said.
Rosenbaum had earlier agreed to forfeit the $420,000 he had made in the kidney brokering cases for which he was convicted. He is due to begin his sentence on Oct. 12. As he is not a U.S. citizen, immigration authorities will decide whether to attempt to deport him once he has finished his sentence.
The sheer desire of high-skilled workers to come to Britain is a massive compliment to our economy, says Boris Johnson
The Kremlin said last month that the two men agreed, in their first phone call after Trump's election win in November, on the need to "normalise" Russia-US relations.
Capping a week of tributes and mass rallies, Castro's ashes will be interred at the Santa Ifigenia cemetery in Santiago de Cuba, the eastern city where his revolution was launched more than a half-century ago.
Trump laid down the gauntlet on Thursday at a campaign-style rally after striking a deal with Carrier to keep about 1,100 jobs in Indiana in exchange for $7 million in state tax incentives over 10 years.
Whatever the outcome of a vote being anxiously watched in capitals across Europe and carefully scrutinised on trading floors around the world, it will lead to change.
The workers had gone missing when a cross-border tunnel collapsed a week ago
The party dropped a bid to pursue the recount in a state court, citing difficulties raising a million dollar bond demanded by the tribunal. It said it would instead press on in federal court and file suit Monday.
Federal prosecutor’s office says suspect is key figure of terror group DKHP-C's European wing
As many as 40 people have been suspected to be killed during a fire that broke out at a rave party
Gambians celebrated after the surprise defeat of their longtime president.
Algeria held talks with Nigeria as far back as 2002 for a similar pipeline crossing the Sahel region, however the Algerian government was unable to finance the project.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and French President Francois Hollande agreed that a deal on Greece's bailout review must be reached by Monday, when euro zone finance ministers are meeting in Brussels, Tsipras' office said on Saturday.
The Native Americans and protesters say the $3.8 billion pipeline threatens water resources and sacred sites.
Burundi police had already arrested a lieutenant-colonel and a corporal on Monday, hours before the assassination attempt.
Separate rescue missions have saved 72 refugees from the Mediterranean
Israel bans Muslims’ call to prayer at Ibrahimi Mosque 48 times in November