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Colorado funeral home operators sentenced to prison in body part selling scheme

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Posted at 6:12 PM, Jan 03, 2023

DENVER — Megan Hess, the former operator of a Montrose funeral home convicted of selling body parts without family consent, was sentenced in federal court Tuesday. Hess’ mother, Shirley Koch, was also sentenced to federal prison.

Hess will spend 20 years in federal prison and Koch was handed down a 15-year sentence. The two were sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Grand Junction.

Hess pleaded guilty in July to mail fraud and aiding and abetting in connection to the body part selling scheme. Her mother pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and aiding and abetting as part of a plea agreement.

The women operated Sunset Mesa Funeral Home in Montrose from 2010 to 2018. Authorities said the pair illegally sold body parts or entire bodies without the consent of the family of the deceased and shipped the parts in the mail.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations said there are hundreds of victims.

“These two women preyed on vulnerable victims who turned to them in a time of grief and sadness. But instead of offering guidance, these greedy women betrayed the trust of hundreds of victims and mutilated their loved ones,” the FBI Denver Division said in a statement.

Colorado regulators shut Sunset Mesa down in February 2018.