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2 plead not guilty in cadaver sales

March 10, 2007|From the Associated Press

The former director of UCLA's cadaver program and an associate pleaded not guilty Friday to conspiracy charges in the illegal trafficking of body parts donated to the university for research.

Henry G. Reid, 57, of Anaheim and Ernest Nelson, 49, of Rancho Cucamonga were each charged with one count of conspiracy, with a special allegation that the loss was more than $150,000, and one count of grand theft.

Reid also was charged with one count of grand theft by embezzlement. Nelson also faces three counts of tax evasion.

The two, who were arrested Wednesday, were being held in lieu of $1 million bail pending a hearing scheduled for next week.

Prosecutors allege that Reid, who directed UCLA's "willed-body" program from 1997 to 2004, sold remains to Nelson, who then sold hundreds of body parts to more than 20 medical, pharmaceutical and hospital research companies.

Authorities said the scheme reaped more than $1 million in profits between 1999 and 2004.

Reid could be sentenced to as much as five years and eight months in prison if convicted of all counts, prosecutors said. Nelson faces up to seven years and eight months.

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