Suspect in NJ Probe Sold Black-Market Kidneys

Corruption bust yields strange side business
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2009 12:22 PM CDT
Graphic explains kidney-selling scheme that Levy Izhak Rosenbaum is accused of arranging.
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(Newser) – The FBI says it's made the first organ trafficking arrest in US history, a strange byproduct of the sweeping corruption probe that nabbed dozens of New Jersey officials and rabbis, the Star-Ledger reports. Levy Izhak Rosenbaum is accused of dealing in kidneys: He'd buy them from donors in Israel for $10,000, then sell them to clients in the US for up to $160,000, says the criminal complaint.

“I am what you call a matchmaker,” he told one undercover FBI agent who arranged to buy one. Rosenbaum would take care of the logistics, getting blood tests, acquiring a visa for the donor to come to the US, and concocting a hospital-duping cover story—all while dispensing copious bribes. “It's so expensive because you have to shmear (pay others) all the time,” he told the agent. (Read more FBI stories.)