Feds: Brooklyn Man Trafficked In Human Kidneys

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July 23, 2009 9:10 a.m.
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There’s a lot to dig into on this story about New Jersey mayors, lawmakers, and rabbis being charged in connection with a federal corruption and international money laundering probe.

But we’ve been focusing on one of the few New Yorkers: Issac Rosenbaum, a Brooklynite who works in real estate — and has been charged with trafficking in human kidneys. It’s not clear how or whether this case is tied to the public corruption probe. But with details like these, who cares, frankly…The complaint put together by federal prosecutors lays out how an undercover witness approached Rosenbaum, telling him the witness’s uncle urgently needed a kidney transplant. Rosenbaum then laid out a scheme by which he would procure a kidney from Israel, and explained how they would make it seem that the donor had a prior relationship with the witnesses’ uncle, as required. “It’s illegal to buy. It’s illegal to sell,” he said at one point.

According to the complaint, when the witness asked Rosenbaum whether the donor got a “good portion” of the money from the sale of his kidney, Rosenbaum replied: “Don’t worry about it.”

And at one point, Rosenbaum said he’d been in the kidney-trafficking game for ten years.

In one excerpt from the complaint, prosecutors write:

ROSENBAUM explained that he had an associate based in Borough Park (Brooklyn) who took blood samples on behalf of an insurance company for whom he worked. Defendant ROSENBAUM indicated that defendant ROSENBAUM paid this
individual in cash for handling blood samples of would-be recipients of organs.

And in another excerpt that can be described as particularly bad for the Jews, prosecutors write:

Defendant ROSENBAUM explained the process of finding a donor in Israel and stated that “[t]here are people over there hunting . . . One of the reasons it’s so expensive is because you have to shmear (meaning pay various individuals for their assistance) all the time.”

Putting cream cheese on our bagel will never be the same after this.

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