Syracuse man pleads guilty to organ transplant fraud
SYRACUSE, NY— A man who conjured up a brutal scheme to convince desperately ill people he could find them organs for transplant in the Philippines has filed a guilty plea.
Jerome Howard Feldman entered a plea of guilty before United States District Court Judge David N. Hurd in Utica to a five count Indictment charging him with wire fraud.
One man who fell for the scheme died, authorities said.
On February 11, 2009, Feldman was indicted by a federal grand jury in Syracuse, New York for carrying out a scheme to defraud desperately-ill victims who paid large sums of money to Feldman and traveled to the Philippines based on false promises from Feldman that they would receive organ transplants there.
In fact, Feldman had not arranged for organ transplants and kept the money from the victims, one of whom died while in the Philippines awaiting the promised liver transplant, United States Attorney Andrew T. Baxter said.
The investigation and arrest of Feldman was conducted by members of the DeWitt Police Department, the Syracuse FBI and the New York State Police.
As a result of his plea of guilty to the Indictment, Feldman faces imprisonment for up to 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000 on each of the five counts.
Feldman also pleaded guilty today before Judge Hurd to a federal health care fraud charge from the Middle District of Florida that occurred between 1996 and 1999.