GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — Megan Hess and her mother Shirly Koch were sentenced in Federal Court for their roles in the Sunset Mesa Funeral Home scheme to sell body parts.
Both mother and daughter pled not guilty to one count of mail fraud, carrying a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Hess received the maximum sentence of 20 years and added 3 years of probation. Koch received a lighter sentence of 15 years, also with 3 years of probation.
The day in court started off with testimony from government agents about the monetary damage Hess and Koch caused. The court found they caused $1,254,293.90 worth of damage to 222 confirmed victims and 338 likely victims.
Victim testimony took up most of the day lasting from around 1 P.M. to 4 P.M. Victims told the court they still had nightmares and severe guilt from the case. One man said counselors turned him down because they did not know how to help him with the trauma he suffered because of this case. Another woman said Hess and Koch’s actions “mutilated her memories.”
Before sentencing, the judge said this was the most emotionally draining case she had ever presided over and that she struggled to find a legal precedent.
Hess and Koch will be back in court in March for a restitution hearing.