(PHOTO Convicted trafficker: Levy Izhak Rosenbaum , 60, before entering the courthouse in Trenton, New Jersey, on Thursday
(October 28, 2011) Lawyers for a man who pleaded guilty Thursday in the first ever federal conviction for illegal organ trafficking say he was performing life-saving services for severely ill people.
Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, from New York, admitted in a Trenton federal court to brokering three illegal kidney transplants for desperate New Jersey-based customers in exchange for payments of $120,000 or more.
He also pleaded guilty to a conspiracy count for brokering an illegal kidney sale.
Attorneys Ronald Kleinberg and Richard Finkel say Rosenbaum never solicited clients.
He simply agreed to help desperately ill people by finding them kidney donors, they said.
The lawyers claim the surgeries occurred in prestigious American hospitals and were performed by experienced transplant experts.
They did not, however, name the hospitals involved, the Associated Press reports.