Trial to begin for body donation facility accused of fraud

Opening statements are scheduled Monday at a civil trial against a now-closed Phoenix body donation facility accused of mishandling donated human remains.

A lawsuit alleges the Biological Resource Center of Arizona claimed the bodies would be used for medical research, when in some cases it knew the remains would be used in destructive military testing.

It also alleges families, who were promised the cremated remains of relatives, received boxes purporting to contain their relatives’ remains but later discovered the bodies were still at the facility or sold to third parties.

Owner Stephen Gore pleaded guilty to a felony for his role in mishandling the remains.

Gore denied the lawsuit’s allegations.

Still, he acknowledged in his criminal case that the company used the donations in ways that went against donor wishes.