Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, an Israeli citizen who lives in Brooklyn, admitted Thursday that he had brokered three illegal kidney transplants for customers in New Jersey.
He was arrested after he tried to set up a kidney sale to Solomon Dwek, a disgraced real estate speculator and FBI informant who awaits sentencing on charges of trying to defraud Pittsburgh-based PNC Bank of $50 million.
Rosenbaum, who was arrested in July 2009 in an FBI crackdown on money laundering and political corruption in New Jersey, pleaded guilty in federal court in Trenton to three counts of organ trafficking and one count of conspiracy.
He faces as many as five years in prison on each of the four counts. The judge set sentencing for Feb. 2.
Prosecutors say that between 2006 and 2009, Rosenbaum brokered three kidney transplants between paid donors and New Jersey residents, paying between $120,000 and $150,000.
Rosenbaum admitted he was not new to the human kidney business when he was caught brokering what he thought was a black market deal, attorney Paul Fishman said.
A black market in human organs is not only a grave threat to public health, it reserves lifesaving treatment for those who can best afford it at the expense of those who cannot, said Fishman in a statement.