Detroit-area woman in body parts business pleads guilty

A Detroit-area woman has pleaded guilty to fraud, admitting she falsely told a customer that human remains used for medical training were free of infectious diseases.

The government says Arthur Rathburn and estranged wife Elizabeth Rathburn of Grosse Pointe Park operated International Biological Inc., which rented out body parts for medical or dental training.

Elizabeth Rathburn struck a deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty Monday to wire fraud. She didn’t disclose that remains provided for a 2012 meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists had tested positive for hepatitis B and HIV.

Elizabeth Rathburn faces less than a year in prison but cooperation with prosecutors could get her a better sentence on July 18. Arthur Rathburn is charged with fraud and making false statements. Their divorce is pending.

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