Michael Mastromarino was sentenced to 18 to 54 years of prison time after being convicted of making millions through illegal sales of skin and bones harvested from corpses. He was believed to be the ring leader of a group that stole bones and tissue from dead bodies between 2000 and 2005 and then selling them to companies which in turn sold them to hospitals that used them in transplants.
His lawyer, Mario Gallucci, confirmed that Mastromarino is suffering from bone cancer and added that the last rites were read to his client in prison two weeks ago. While there is speculation that Mastromarino's illegal activities could have played a hand in his illness, after a few witnesses testified that they had become ill themselves after handling the goods, Gallucci was quick to point out that nobody had ever proved that there was any truth in the testimonies.
"Nobody yet has been able to prove that [Mastromarino's] bone, skin or tissue... ever led to illness. He had last rites read to him about two weeks ago. He's down about a hundred pounds. He's very very weak. It's horrible. It's horrible", Gallucci said.