Organ-Shilling Brooklyn ‘Matchmaker’ Pleads Guilty

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Photo: Jed Egan; Photos: iStockphoto

The honor of being the first person in the U.S. charged with trafficking live human organs goes to Brooklyn's own Levy Itzhak Rosenbaum, who was known as the "go-to" guy for arranging kidney transplants without waiting on any pesky lists. Rosenbaum was busted in a 2009 sting as part of a huge corruption scandal surrounding Ponzi-scheming investor Solomon Dwek, and was heard on a surveillance tape explaining, "I am what you call a matchmaker." He rationalized the $160,000 price tag for an illegal kidney, only $10,000 of which went to the donors in Israel, by insisting, "One of the reasons it's so expensive is because you have to shmear everyone." Today, Rosenbaum pleaded guilty and could face up to five years in prison or be deported. But of the other transplants he set up, his lawyer added, all three were successful.

Brooklyn man pleads guilty to trafficking black market kidneys to N.J. residents [NJ Star-Ledger]