Funeral Director Sentenced in Body Parts Case
A funeral director, who had been based in Belleville, was sentenced Monday in Newark to four years probation for his role in the sale of body parts, secretly harvested from cadavers and then sold as part of the medical transplant market.
Robert Maitner, 34, of Edison, was sentenced during a hearing in Superior Court in Newark, according to Paul Loriquet, a spokesman for the Essex County Prosecutor?s Office. The sentencing came six months after he pleaded guilty to a single count of desecrating human remains in New York. He pleaded guilty in New Jersey under a plea arrangement, Loriquet said.
Maitner owned Kiernan Funeral Home and Maitner Cremation Services, both in Belleville, where authorities said he allowed what police called “cutters” to remove parts from 20 bodies between November 2004 and Oct. 31, 2005, according to Loriquet.
Maitner served a six-month term in New York City after he pleaded guilty in New York to attempted enterprise corruption stemming from his role in the crimes.
Loriquet said that Maintner had served the New York sentence, and had cooperated throughout the investigation with the Brooklyn, N.Y., District Attorney’s Office, after investigators uncovered the plot. The scheme included at least a dozen morticians in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and more than 1,000 bodies were harvested between 2001 and 2005, Loriquet said.
Loriquet added that during the Newark sentencing, Judge Peter Vazquez warned Maitner that he could face five years in state prison if he violated the terms of his sentence, which also includes 150 hours of community service.
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