NYC Mortuary Technicians Charged With Using Dead People's Credit Cards

Joshua Espinoza
·2 min read

Image via Getty/John Lamparski/NurPhoto

A pair of former New York City mortuary workers have been charged with stealing from the deceased.

Federal prosecutors announced the charges Tuesday, accusing 66-year-old Charles McFadgen and 50-year-old Willie Garcon of swiping multiple bank cards from dead bodies at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of New York City. The former suspect, who worked at the office between 2003 to 2016, allegedly used five stolen credit cards to purchase $13,500 worth of goods. McFadgen reportedly admitted to the crime during interviews with investigators, saying he made the unauthorized purchases during and after his OCME employment. He claimed his former co-workers at the medical examiner’s office had given him “about four or five credit cards while he was employed by the OCME and about six credit cards after he retired”; however, court documents do not identify the co-workers.

“He said that he used the cards to make small purchases, such as purchasing stamps from the post office and buying food from McDonald’s,” FBI Agent Kerry Calnan wrote in a criminal complaint.

Garcon was employed as a forensic technician at OCME between 2018 to 2020. He was arrested in May of last year after authorities allegedly found him with property belonging to four dead people whose bodies were placed in OCME’s custody. Prosecutors say Garcon spent about $6,500 in unauthorized purchases, including airfare for a Fort Lauderdale trip as well as an air conditioning unit for his wife’s home in Boca Raton.

“As representatives of the City’s Office of Chief Medical Examiner, these defendants should have provided compassion, dignity, and respect for the deceased New Yorkers they were serving,” said Margaret Garnett, the commissioner for the New York City Department of Investigation. “Instead, they exploited the access of their positions and breached the trust the City placed in them by stealing from the dead, according to the charges. DOI thanks the NYPD, FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York for working together to expose the corruption and bring accountability to this charged conduct. Individuals who have experienced similar issues with theft from deceased loved ones are encouraged to make a report to DOI’s Office of Inspector General for OCME at (212) 825-5904.”

McFadgen and Gracon have each been charged with access device fraud. They face up to 10 years behind bars if convicted.

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