Former body parts supplier sentenced

October 5, 2009 9:35:01 PM PDT
A former NC body parts supplier who falsified medical histories of cadavers was sentenced Monday at the Federal Courthouse. Philip Guyett Jr., 41, was sentenced to 96 months in federal prison for three counts of mail fraud to be served concurrently. After he's released, he'll be on three years' probation.

Prosecutors had asked for a prison term of seven years, but a judge added an additional year. The judge also ruled he must pay $104,000 in restitution.

Guyett was on trial for falsifying the cadaver histories so he could sell the tissue for transplants.

He testified that he made a dumb decision and admitted he falsified documents. Guyett said his business was failing and he thought the diseased tissue would be caught.

Federal investigators said Guyett received $3,000 to $7,000 for each body he harvested. They argued that he changed the medical histories of cadavers and falsified blood samples to hide evidence of disease or drug use, trying to ensure the risky tissue wouldn't be rejected.

Prosecutors say that Guyett's tissue produced 2,600 human tissue products, with 785 of those implanted into humans. They argue that 127 patients received tissue from donors with questionable medical histories and at least one victim contracted a staph infection that his doctor believes was linked to Guyett's unsanitary procurement of tissue.

Federal regulators shut down Guyett's tissue operation, Donor Referral Services, Inc. in 2006, citing inaccurate paperwork and poor record keeping.

Guyett said after pleading guilty in March, he took short cuts to get rid of the tissue assuming that checks and balances in the processing of the body parts would catch any problems. He said he's offering to help the U.S. Food and Drug Administration strengthen oversight of the vocation he called "vitally important to the medical industry in our country."

Guyett was living in California and working in metal recycling before his sentencing. He is now in federal custody.

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