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Michael Mastromarino

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NEWS
August 30, 2008 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Selling illegally obtained body parts for use in implant surgery was a profitable fallback career for Michael Mastromarino, a North Jersey oral surgeon who had lost his license for drug offenses. But not profitable enough. Removing bones, skin and tendons from corpses was time-consuming and expensive: PVC pipe was needed to fill out the deboned limbs if there was a viewing. That all changed in early 2004, a city prosecutor said yesterday, when Mastromarino met three Philadelphia morticians who had just what he needed - a crematorium.
NEWS
October 23, 2008 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Louis and Gerald Garzone - brothers whose funeral homes served generations in Kensington - were each sentenced to 8 to 20 years in prison yesterday for illegally selling body parts for use in surgeries. As their families wept, Louis Garzone, 66, and Gerald Garzone, 48, calmly put their arms behind their backs as sheriff's deputies handcuffed them and led them away from Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Glenn B. Bronson's courtroom. The Garzones pleaded guilty to selling 244 Philadelphia cadavers to Michael Mastromarino, a disgraced oral surgeon who owned Biomedical Tissue Services Inc., of Fort Lee, N.J., and paid the Garzones $1,000 a corpse.
NEWS
November 15, 2007 | By Dwight Ott INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The gruesome body-parts case - in which cadavers were allegedly chopped up and sold for body tissue used in surgeries - progressed from Municipal to Common Pleas Court in Philadelphia yesterday with the arraignment of five defendants accused in the scheme. The three local defendants in the case - brothers Louis and Gerald Garzone, and James A. McCafferty Jr. - appeared yesterday before Trial Commissioner Russell Joell, who set a pretrial conference date of Dec. 10. At this hearing, a judge will make decisions regarding the scheduling of the trial and other procedural issues.
NEWS
April 30, 2008 | By Joseph A. Gambardello INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Relatives of two Philadelphians whose remains were allegedly desecrated by a body-parts theft ring filed a lawsuit yesterday seeking damages for themselves and other victimized families. The complaint names alleged ringleader Michael Mastromarino, the owners and operators of two Philadelphia funeral homes and a cremation facility, and the firms that received the body parts for processing for transplantation. The families of Felicia Pancoast and James L. Bonner said neither they nor their deceased relatives had given permission for body parts to be harvested for medical use. Pancoast, 59, died Sept.
NEWS
July 10, 2013 | BY DAVID GAMBACORTA, Daily News Staff Writer gambacd@phillynews.com, 215-854-5994
MICHAEL Mastromarino, the ringleader behind a ghoulish scheme to sell diseased tissue and bones that were harvested from corpses in Philadelphia and New York, died Sunday morning. A spokesman for the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision said Mastromarino, 49, was pronounced dead about 10 a.m. at St. Luke's Hospital in Orange County, N.Y. The cause of death appeared to be natural causes, the spokesman said. The New York Daily News reported that Mastromarino died from bone cancer.
NEWS
August 14, 2008 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A Philadelphia funeral director charged last year with being part of a multistate ring that sold stolen body parts for use in surgery pleaded guilty yesterday and agreed to cooperate in the upcoming trial of two other morticians. James A. McCafferty Jr. pleaded guilty to charges of participating in a corrupt organization, conspiracy, theft by deception, welfare fraud, recklessly endangering another person, and 244 counts of theft pertaining to the removal of body parts from cadavers without relatives' permission.
NEWS
February 24, 2006 | By Troy Graham INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The trade in tissue and bones from cadavers has become a nearly $1 billion industry thanks to an aging population that wants to stay active and healthy. But in the booming business, serviced by about 200 for-profit and nonprofit tissue banks, the small, unaccredited operations far outnumber the ones vetted by an industry group. One of those independent tissue banks, Biomedical Tissue Services of Fort Lee, N.J., exploded on the scene last year with media reports that it had stolen tissue from bodies at a funeral home in Brooklyn, N.Y., then falsified paperwork to give the appearance of legal donations.
NEWS
September 3, 2008 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Elizabeth Sparagno literally shook with anger. First was the horror of her mother's murder almost four years ago: 84-year-old Marie Lindgren was beaten, sexually assaulted and strangled, left with a finger torn off, and nearly decapitated in her Kensington home by two teenage neighbors she used to treat to homemade cookies. Yesterday was the final indignity, as Sparagno listened to a Philadelphia prosecutor talk about how her mother might have been one of 244 Philadelphians dissected and sold as parts for surgical implants by Louis Garzone, the mortician she trusted in one of the darkest times of her life.
NEWS
October 25, 2007 | By Dwight Ott INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The five men accused of running a body-parts scheme - in which tissue from 244 Philadelphia cadavers was stolen - appeared in court yesterday on issues related to their bail and how quickly the case will go to trial. Common Pleas Court Judge Marsha H. Neifeld lowered bail from $4 million to $1.5 million for Lee Cruceta, 34, of New York City, a former nurse who is married and the father of four children. Cruceta, according to a Philadelphia grand-jury report, was the leader of a group that dismembered the bodies and sold the tissue.
NEWS
October 6, 2007 | By Troy Graham INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A bail commissioner put a high price tag on the freedom of three Philadelphia funeral home directors accused of using their businesses to steal body parts for resale. Commissioner Francis Rebstock set bail Thursday night at $1 million each for Louis Garzone, 65, and his brother Gerald Garzone, 47, and at $500,000 for James A. McCafferty Jr., 37. The three men, along with two brokers of body parts, were charged Thursday with cutting bones, tissue, skin, tendons and other parts from 244 cadavers without family consent.
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NEWS
July 10, 2013 | BY DAVID GAMBACORTA, Daily News Staff Writer gambacd@phillynews.com, 215-854-5994
MICHAEL Mastromarino, the ringleader behind a ghoulish scheme to sell diseased tissue and bones that were harvested from corpses in Philadelphia and New York, died Sunday morning. A spokesman for the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision said Mastromarino, 49, was pronounced dead about 10 a.m. at St. Luke's Hospital in Orange County, N.Y. The cause of death appeared to be natural causes, the spokesman said. The New York Daily News reported that Mastromarino died from bone cancer.
NEWS
October 23, 2008 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Louis and Gerald Garzone - brothers whose funeral homes served generations in Kensington - were each sentenced to 8 to 20 years in prison yesterday for illegally selling body parts for use in surgeries. As their families wept, Louis Garzone, 66, and Gerald Garzone, 48, calmly put their arms behind their backs as sheriff's deputies handcuffed them and led them away from Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Glenn B. Bronson's courtroom. The Garzones pleaded guilty to selling 244 Philadelphia cadavers to Michael Mastromarino, a disgraced oral surgeon who owned Biomedical Tissue Services Inc., of Fort Lee, N.J., and paid the Garzones $1,000 a corpse.
NEWS
September 3, 2008 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Elizabeth Sparagno literally shook with anger. First was the horror of her mother's murder almost four years ago: 84-year-old Marie Lindgren was beaten, sexually assaulted and strangled, left with a finger torn off, and nearly decapitated in her Kensington home by two teenage neighbors she used to treat to homemade cookies. Yesterday was the final indignity, as Sparagno listened to a Philadelphia prosecutor talk about how her mother might have been one of 244 Philadelphians dissected and sold as parts for surgical implants by Louis Garzone, the mortician she trusted in one of the darkest times of her life.
NEWS
September 2, 2008 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
For decades, brothers Louis and Gerald Garzone, the owners of a local funeral home used by families for generations because they were the local funeral home, were fixtures in Kensington. Today, the men are to go on trial in a Philadelphia courtroom, accused of betraying those who entrusted their loved ones to them. If the charges against the brothers are true, the Garzones - without permission and for $1,000 a corpse - allowed the remains of 244 Philadelphians to be cut up and sold for parts used in surgery implants.
NEWS
August 30, 2008 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Selling illegally obtained body parts for use in implant surgery was a profitable fallback career for Michael Mastromarino, a North Jersey oral surgeon who had lost his license for drug offenses. But not profitable enough. Removing bones, skin and tendons from corpses was time-consuming and expensive: PVC pipe was needed to fill out the deboned limbs if there was a viewing. That all changed in early 2004, a city prosecutor said yesterday, when Mastromarino met three Philadelphia morticians who had just what he needed - a crematorium.
NEWS
August 14, 2008 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A Philadelphia funeral director charged last year with being part of a multistate ring that sold stolen body parts for use in surgery pleaded guilty yesterday and agreed to cooperate in the upcoming trial of two other morticians. James A. McCafferty Jr. pleaded guilty to charges of participating in a corrupt organization, conspiracy, theft by deception, welfare fraud, recklessly endangering another person, and 244 counts of theft pertaining to the removal of body parts from cadavers without relatives' permission.
NEWS
April 30, 2008 | By Joseph A. Gambardello INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Relatives of two Philadelphians whose remains were allegedly desecrated by a body-parts theft ring filed a lawsuit yesterday seeking damages for themselves and other victimized families. The complaint names alleged ringleader Michael Mastromarino, the owners and operators of two Philadelphia funeral homes and a cremation facility, and the firms that received the body parts for processing for transplantation. The families of Felicia Pancoast and James L. Bonner said neither they nor their deceased relatives had given permission for body parts to be harvested for medical use. Pancoast, 59, died Sept.
NEWS
March 19, 2008 | By ADAM GOLDMAN Associated Press Associated Press writer Maryclaire Dale and Daily News reporter Kitty Caparella, both in Philadelphia, contributed to this report
The mastermind of a scheme to plunder corpses from funeral homes in the Northeast and sell them for millions of dollars pleaded guilty yesterday in a deal that could send him to prison for the next five decades. Michael Mastromarino, 44, a former oral surgeon, confessed to a Brooklyn judge that he carried out the scheme from 2001 to 2005. He will face between 18 and 54 years in prison, and will have to forfeit $4.68 million. He copped to 14 counts that include enterprise corruption, body stealing and reckless endangerment.
NEWS
November 15, 2007 | By Dwight Ott INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The gruesome body-parts case - in which cadavers were allegedly chopped up and sold for body tissue used in surgeries - progressed from Municipal to Common Pleas Court in Philadelphia yesterday with the arraignment of five defendants accused in the scheme. The three local defendants in the case - brothers Louis and Gerald Garzone, and James A. McCafferty Jr. - appeared yesterday before Trial Commissioner Russell Joell, who set a pretrial conference date of Dec. 10. At this hearing, a judge will make decisions regarding the scheduling of the trial and other procedural issues.
NEWS
October 29, 2007 | By Troy Graham INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
When Angela Morris's father died of cancer in 2005, she picked a funeral home to handle his cremation simply because it was close to his Philadelphia hospice. She selected the Garzone Funeral Home, one of two funeral homes accused earlier this month in a scheme to steal body parts from cadavers without family consent. Those body parts - bones, skin, tendons and other tissue - were sold to medical body-parts distributors in a lucrative transplant industry, the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office said.
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