– Two funeral homes and a cremation
service in Newark connected to an illegal
body parts harvesting operation will be temporarily
shut down at the close of business on March
5, under terms of an interim consent order
reached today between the state Board of Mortuary
Science and the owners of the facilities.
K. Finley, who with his wife owns the Berardinelli
Forest Hill Memorial Home, Funeraria Santa
Cruz and Cremation at a Low Cost, also is
barred from entering these businesses while
the interim order is in effect.
interim order issued today came after undercover
investigators from Consumer Affairs’
Enforcement Bureau found that Finley was acting
as a funeral director despite having his license
revoked by the Board in January. Finley was
allowed to retain ownership of the funeral
homes and cremation service but had to employ
licensed funeral directors to arrange for
and preside over funerals.
interim action protects the public, which
is our primary focus,” Attorney General
Anne Milgram said. “The Board was prepared
to hold a formal hearing today and take action
if this consent order was not reached.”
registrations of the three businesses will
be temporarily suspended and all signage at
the businesses must be covered, under terms
of the consent order. Telephone messages telling
callers that the businesses are closed also
must be activated.
pre-arranged funerals will be handled by other
funeral homes while the interim consent order
is in effect.
Board of Mortuary Science will hold a plenary
hearing to consider final action against Finley
and his businesses no later than April 7.
alleged violation of an order issued by a
licensing board shows a wanton disregard for
the law,” said David Szuchman, Consumer
Affairs Director. “Our boards are disciplinary
bodies that hold licensees accountable for
their behavior and conduct.”
Board in January ordered the revocation of
Finley’s funeral director’s license
after an investigation by the Division of
Consumer Affairs’ Enforcement Bureau,
with the assistance of the Kings County District
Attorney’s Office and the Food and Drug
Administration, uncovered that Finley was
involved in a scheme to harvest tissue from
the dead without obtaining the proper consent.
This tissue was then allegedly sold and used
in surgical procedures.
leader of the scheme, Michael Mastromarino,
pleaded guilty in New York to enterprise corruption,
body stealing, and reckless endangerment.
Attorney General Doreen A. Hafner is representing
the state in this matter.