(JTA) – An Israeli citizen who lives in Brooklyn was convicted of organ trafficking.
Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, 60, pleaded guilty Oct. 27 to three counts of organ trafficking and one count of conspiracy in a New Jersey federal court.
Rosenbaum is the first person to be convicted of illegal organ trafficking in the United States since a 1984 law was put into place banning the sale of human organs, according to reports.
He reportedly was paid $410,000 to arrange the sales of kidneys from healthy donors in Israel to three people in New Jersey.
He was caught in a sting operation in July 2009, set up with government informant Solomon Dwek, a real estate speculator arrested for a $50 million bank fraud. Some 40 other people, mostly rabbis and politicians from New Jersey, were arrested in a sting operation assisted by Dwek.
Surgeries for the donors and recipients took place in American hospitals, which were not identified by prosecutors in the case. The kidney donors and recipients also were not identified or charged.
Rosenbaum will be sentenced in February. He faces up to 20 years in prison and deportation to Israel.