Israeli Guilty of First Organ Trafficking Case in US History
Rosenbaum was identified to the FBI seven years ago as a major figure in a global human organ ring.
An Israeli man who lives in Brooklyn pleaded guilty on Thursday to charges of brokering a kidney transplant as part of a black market organ business. This is the first human organ trafficking conviction in the United States. For many years, Israel has been at the top of organ trafficking. Rosenbaum received at least $450,000 for trafficked organs.
Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, 60, confessed to three counts of acquiring human organs for transportation and one count of conspiracy in Trenton, N.J. Rosenbaum also admitted that three ailing people paid him a total of $410,000 to arrange illegal kidney transplants. He was caught in an undercover sting operation by the FBI when an agent paid him $10,000.
Lawyers for Rosebaum, who lives in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn, tried to paint him as an individual trying to help his fellow man in need.
“The transplant surgeries occurred in prestigious American hospitals and were performed by experienced and expert kidney transplant surgeons,” said attorneys Richard Finkel and Ronald Kleinberg in a statement reported by the Associated Press. “The transplants were successful and the donors and the recipients are now leading full and healthy lives… the recipients are no longer burdened by the medical and substantial health dangers associated with dialysis and kidney failure.”
Rosenbaum admitted that he would assist the donors and the recipients to coordinate a false story that would deceive hospital officials into believing that the donation was completely voluntary and was not part a monetary transaction.