A change-of-plea hearing for Koch is scheduled for July 12, court records show.
CNN has reached out to Daniel Shaffer, Hess’ lead attorney, and Koch’s attorney, Martha Horwitz Eskesen, for comment.
Hess and Koch, who ran Sunset Mesa Funeral Directors, met with grieving families and offered to provide cremation services for $ 1,000 or more – but many never happened, according to the 2020 news release from the Justice Department.
Instead, Hess would ship human bodies and body parts from her Montrose, Colorado, funeral home through a business she created called Donor Services, which served as a body broker service.
“In at least dozens of instances, Hess and Koch did not follow family wishes, and neither discussed nor obtained authorization for Donor Services to transfer decedents’ bodies or body parts to third parties,” the DOJ said.
And in the few cases that families agreed to donate, Hess and Koch sold the remains of those dead bodies beyond the families’ authorization, which was often limited to small tissue samples, tumors or parts of skin.
In addition, they delivered what they claimed were the cremated remains to the families, although “frequently, that was not the case,” according to the DOJ.