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Cadaver dealers’ case still on hold over prison time, human remains stay on ice for 268 families

Posted at 6:20 PM, Jul 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-22 20:15:03-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — John Butsch came to Detroit from Chicago seeking justice for himself, and he says there are 268 families whose loved ones are tied up in a cadaver dealer fraud case in Federal Court.

Judge Paul Borman is keeping the case on hold. He said in court he’s against a proposed plea deal that would mean no prison time for one of two charged in this case. The defendants are owners of Biological Resource Center of Illinois, which was raided by the feds in 2015.

In the proposed plea deal, Donald Greene, Sr. would plead guilty to wire fraud and 20 years in prison would be cut down to just two years.

Donald Greene II, Donald Sr.'s son, would plead guilty to concealing the fraud and under the deal, three years in prison would turn into no prison time.

Judge Borman said in court he doesn’t know of any federal judge in Detroit who has taken a deal like that. He said he’s been on the bench almost 25 years.

The Greenes are connected to convicted cadaver dealer Art Rathburn, who was busted in 2013. Investigators found inside his shabby warehouse the body parts of more than a thousand different people cut up, sometimes with a chain saw and kept on ice.

The Greenes are charged with selling human remains that were contaminated with infectious diseases for medical and scientific purposes.

Butsch met with the feds before going to court. He found out that he and the others may not be “victims” in the Greene’s case here. And because the feds took so long developing the case, the Illinois statute of limitations of three years may have expired for state criminal charges and a civil lawsuit.

The remains of 268 families remain on ice in Detroit until this case is resolved and prison time is agreed to by Judge Borman.