Brooklyn Man Admits Brokering Illegal Kidney Transplants For NJ Residents

TRENTON – An Israeli citizen living in Brooklyn, N.Y., admitted today to brokering three illegal kidney transplants for payments of $120,000 or more before he was caught conspiring to organize another black market sale, New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, a/k/a “Isaac Rosenbaum,” 60, pleaded guilty to three counts of acquiring, receiving and otherwise transferring human organs for valuable consideration for use in human transplantation; and one count of conspiracy to do the same.

The defendant entered his guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson in Trenton federal court. Rosenbaum’s convictions are the first under the federal statute involving the black market sales of kidneys from paid donors.

“Rosenbaum admitted he was not new to the human kidney business when he was caught brokering what he thought was a black market deal,” Fishman said. “A black market in human organs is not only a grave threat to public health, it reserves lifesaving treatment for those who can best afford it at the expense of those who cannot. We will not tolerate such an affront to human dignity.”

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, Rosenbaum admitted to arranging three transplants on behalf of New Jersey residents that took place in December 2006, September 2008 and February 2009. Rosenbaum admitted that he was paid approximately $120,000, $150,000 and $140,000, respectively on behalf of these three recipients.

Each of the charges to which Rosenbaum pleaded guilty carries a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Rosenbaum also agreed to forfeit approximately $420,000 by the date of sentencing – consisting of the $410,000 he accepted for brokering the transplants and the $10,000 down payment he accepted from Dwek.

Thompson continued Rosenbaum’s release on bail pending sentencing, and he remains under house arrest with electronic monitoring. Sentencing is currently scheduled for Feb. 2, 2012.

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