Morgue Workers Allegedly Swiped Credit Cards Off Dead Bodies And Stole $20,000

(Credit: STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images)

Julia Canzano Contributor
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The FBI arrested and charged two former New York City morticians Tuesday who allegedly stole credit cards from dead bodies and used them to rack up $20,000 in charges.

Willie Garcon, 50, and Charles McFadgen, 66, were charged with fraud for allegedly using credit and debit cards that belonged to decedents that were in the care and custody of the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME), according to a press release from the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Garcon was employed at the OCME between 2018 and 2020 as a forensic mortuary technician, according to the DOJ. When Garcon was arrested in May, he was allegedly found in possession of property that had belonged to four decedents that were in OCME’s custody. An investigation revealed that Garcon made nearly $6,500 in unauthorized purchases using the decedents’ credit and debit cards, according to the DOJ.

McFadgen was employed by the OCME from 2003 until his retirement in 2016. He admitted to using credit and debit cards from decedents both during and after his employment to rack up $13,500 in purchases, according to the DOJ. (RELATED: New York Man Arrested For Stealing More Than $12,000 in Coronavirus Stimulus Checks From Mailboxes)

“As alleged, the defendants, as mortuary technicians … had a solemn duty to care for the bodies of the deceased and treat their personal effects with the utmost respect. Instead, the defendants brazenly pilfered the belongings of the deceased, stole their property and enriched themselves by making unauthorized purchases worth several thousand dollars,” stated U.S. Attorney Mark J. Lesko in the DOJ’s press release. “These arrests serve as a warning to corrupt city employees that they will be prosecuted and held accountable for their criminal acts and breach of public trust.”

The defendants face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.