February trial set in Detroit court in body parts probe

DETROIT (AP) – A judge has set a Feb. 21 trial for a Detroit-area man charged with supplying diseased body parts for medical training, although a plea deal could be reached before that date.

Arthur Rathburn appeared in federal court Friday. Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Wyse told a judge that there are ongoing negotiations with Rathburn and his lawyer about a plea agreement.

The government says the Grosse Pointe Park man operated International Biological Inc., which rented out body parts for medical or dental training.

The unusual business was legal, but Rathburn is accused of making false statements and transporting hazardous materials. Investigators say some body parts came from people who had HIV or hepatitis B.

Rathburn’s wife pleaded guilty to fraud in March and awaits her sentence.

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