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  1. #1
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    news on JBR's coroner


  2. #2
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    Even though he offered his "expert" opinion over and over on the case, Dr Wecht wasn't actually JBR's coroner...John Meyer was.

  3. #3
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    http://www.mankatofreepress.com/feed...es_apstoryview
    Celebrity Coroner Indicted on Fraud, Theft

    By JOE MANDAK
    The Associated Press

    PITTSBURGH

    Dr. Cyril Wecht, a high-profile coroner who has consulted on deaths from Elvis Presley to JonBenet Ramsey, was indicted on federal charges of using government resources to further his private practice.

    The 84-count indictment includes mail fraud, wire fraud, theft of honest services and theft from the Allegheny County coroner's office, which Wecht heads.

    FBI agents searched his office, seizing computers and his private files last spring, and three of his employees resigned as the federal investigation proceeded.
    [...]

  4. #4
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    OMG Thanks Tipper for posting this. We all know him so well from his commentary on the Scott Peterson case! I never knew he had such skeletons in his closet. He must be doing again what he did back in the early 80's that is considered against the law.

    Can anyone tell a layman like me what he is doing that is exactly wrong? Thanks.


    Scandi

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by scandi
    OMG Thanks Tipper for posting this. We all know him so well from his commentary on the Scott Peterson case! I never knew he had such skeletons in his closet. He must be doing again what he did back in the early 80's that is considered against the law.

    Can anyone tell a layman like me what he is doing that is exactly wrong? Thanks.


    Scandi
    It's a conflict of interest to earn money for your private business at the same time you are being paid by your government employer for starters.

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/trib.../s_415595.html
    Allegheny County Medical Examiner Dr. Cyril H. Wecht traded corpses of people whose next of kin could not be found to a local college in exchange for laboratory space for his private business, federal prosecutors said today. Several bodies a month -- for at least a year -- were given to the unnamed college, U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan said this morning after a federal grand indicted Wecht on 84 counts, including mail and wire fraud, theft of honest services and theft from an organization receiving federal funds.
    "Probably the most significant aspect of this fraud is that Cyril Wecht used employees paid for by the county for his personal benefit," Buchanan said.

    Wecht, 74, overbilled clients, including Westmoreland, Fayette and Greene counties, for which he performed pathology services, according to the indictment. For example, Wecht billed those counties for travel expenses that had already been paid for by Allegheny County taxpayers, the indictment states.

  6. #6
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    Looks like he is in deep doo-doo!

    How could such an intelligent man like this do something so blatently against the law? Amazing! Trading bodies for a service.
    We do have someone here at WS who either is a coroner or works for a mortuary - she worked in the place where Elvis' body was readied for buriel I think. It would be interesting to hear from this poster. I'm wondering if this is normal practice for coroners - does this practice go on regularly in that business? How do medical schools get their bodies? I know already they must pay for them. LOL


    Scandi

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seeker
    It's a conflict of interest to earn money for your private business at the same time you are being paid by your government employer for starters.

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/trib.../s_415595.html
    And earn a LOT of money too, it seems.

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/trib.../s_415595.html
    []
    From 1997 to 2004, while Wecht was serving his second stint as an elected coroner, his private business, Cyril H. Wecht and Pathology Associates, generated more than $8.75 million in revenue, and from that Wecht was paid more than $4.65 million, according to the indictment.
    []

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by scandi
    Looks like he is in deep doo-doo!

    How could such an intelligent man like this do something so blatently against the law? Amazing! Trading bodies for a service.
    We do have someone here at WS who either is a coroner or works for a mortuary - she worked in the place where Elvis' body was readied for buriel I think. It would be interesting to hear from this poster. I'm wondering if this is normal practice for coroners - does this practice go on regularly in that business? How do medical schools get their bodies? I know already they must pay for them. LOL


    Scandi
    Not necessarily. People can will their body to science and designate a particular school, or research facility to be the recipient of their remains.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by scandi
    How do medical schools get their bodies? I know already they must pay for them. Scandi
    The school my son attends uses a lot of homeless peoples' bodies.

    Wecht sure was energetic.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nehemiah
    The school my son attends uses a lot of homeless peoples' bodies.
    Either way, why would Wecht think they were his bodies to trade to benefit his private company?

    Added:
    He's been trying to settle.
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,182343,00.html
    His defense attorneys, including former U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh, have said they met with federal prosecutors in recent weeks to try to negotiate a settlement. His defense attorneys, including former U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh, have said they met with federal prosecutors in recent weeks to try to negotiate a settlement.


  11. #11
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    Thanks Seeker

    Quote Originally Posted by Seeker
    Even though he offered his "expert" opinion over and over on the case, Dr Wecht wasn't actually JBR's coroner...John Meyer was.
    Seeker,
    Thanks for the clarification. What are your thoughts on Wecht? Was he in agreement with Meyer?

  12. #12
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    Let's not kid ourselves .... I'm not saying all doctors are corrupt,but things like this happen all the time. The only difference is,Dr.Wecht,unfortunately for him ... got caught.

  13. #13
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    I don't know Wecht apart from his book on the ramsey case which I bought. I appreciated his ability to explain the autopsy in lay terms - only a real expert can do that.

    If he fiddled his books, he deserves to be punished. However, it doesn't mean that he doesn't know his stuff. There are a lot of brilliant but unscrupulous people in the world.

    Not sure about the bodies thing. There are two distinct arguments here. On one hand, there is a human rights issue - who give anyone the right to trade in cadavers? On the other hand, it seems that a lot of good may have come out of the dirty deeds in terms of medical advancement. I don't know what the laws are about this. In the UK, Burke and Hare were the notorious "bodysnatcher" who obtained fresh corpses which they sold to medical schools for research. Awful for the families but how many of us benefited from the medical research?

    There have been lots of high-publicity cases of hospitals removing body parts for experimentation and research without the families' consent. Years later, the body parts turn up in some cupboard and the families thought they buried the entire corpse.

    Personally, I don't have an issue with this. We're a family of organ donors, blood donors and and bone-marrow donors. I am also considering leaving my body to medical research at the moment. The only thing which is holding me back is the thought that I'd be used for a student prank!
    This is only my opinion

    Let the focus be on Madeleine




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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayelles
    [...]

    Not sure about the bodies thing. There are two distinct arguments here. On one hand, there is a human rights issue - who give anyone the right to trade in cadavers? On the other hand, it seems that a lot of good may have come out of the dirty deeds in terms of medical advancement. I don't know what the laws are about this. In the UK, Burke and Hare were the notorious "bodysnatcher" who obtained fresh corpses which they sold to medical schools for research. Awful for the families but how many of us benefited from the medical research?

    [...]
    I don't think the problem is in the use of cadavers per se. If the charges are true he converted an asset he gained access to as a state employee to benefit his private company. We'll have to wait and see what the evidence is.



    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06021/641975.stm

    [...]

    U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan outlined the indictment at a news conference yesterday, including a charge that Dr. Wecht provided bodies that went unclaimed at the coroner's office for use as cadavers in the forensic sciences program at Carlow University. The government said the bodies were provided at no cost in exchange for lab space for his private practice.

    A cadaver typically costs between $1,800 and $4,000.

    Ms. Buchanan would not say how many bodies were involved but that there were several each month. The indictment said the practice went on from June 2003 to December 2005.

    "Cyril Wecht allowed the bodies to be used by the school for practice," Ms. Buchanan said.

    Carlow University officials in a statement yesterday denied there was any kind of trade agreement with Dr. Wecht for use of its labs.

    "Carlow provided facilities to Dr. Wecht for the purpose of teaching autopsy procedure as part of the course of instruction in the university's forensic sciences program," the statement read. "At no time, did Carlow trade laboratory space for cadavers."

    The college said it believed Dr. Wecht was acting lawfully and that the autopsies were performed as part of his private practice and had no relation to his duties as the county coroner.

    Ms. Buchanan said that a body in Pennsylvania should not be autopsied unless the cause of death is unclear. In these instances with the unclaimed bodies, there was no need for an autopsy, she said.

    [...]

  15. #15
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    So he "stole" from his employer? I suppose this is a bit like one of use using our employer's photocopier for personal use ... except on a much grander scale? Is he guilty of medical malpractice? Or of cooking his books?
    This is only my opinion

    Let the focus be on Madeleine




    Together we can make a difference





    Alert Viewer in Scotland

    Member of Websleuths since April 2000

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