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NEW YORK – Two former employees of the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office are accused of stealing credit cards from multiple bodies in the city’s morgue and charging thousands of dollars in unauthorized purchases, according to federal prosecutors.

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Charles McFadgen, 66, of the Bronx, and Willie Garcon, 50, of Brooklyn, were mortuary technicians for the Medical Examiner’s Office, WNBC reported. Both men were arrested on Tuesday after two criminal complaints were unsealed in a Brooklyn federal court, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Mark Lesko said in a news release.

“The defendants … had a solemn duty to care for the bodies of the deceased and treat their personal effects with the utmost respect,” Lesko said in a statement. “Instead, the defendants brazenly pilfered the belongings of the deceased, stole their property and enriched themselves by making unauthorized purchases.”

According to the criminal complaint, Garcon was employed as a forensic mortuary technician from May 2018 to July 2020. His duties included transporting bodies from the location of their deaths to the medical examiner’s office. Garcon was also working for the Burlington County Medical Examiner in New Jersey, the complaint said.

Garcon was first arrested by New Jersey authorities in May 2020, according to the complaint. Authorities discovered that Garcon had property belonging to four people who had died in New York City. The complaint added that Garcon made nearly $6,500 in unauthorized purchases using stolen credit and debit cards, including airfare from Newark to Fort Lauderdale.

McFadgen worked as a mortuary technician for the medical examiner’s office from October 2003 until he retired in July 2016. According to the complaint, McFadgen admitted to investigators that he also used stolen cards.

McFadgen allegedly made more than $13,500 in unauthorized purchases using cards belonging to five decedents whose bodies were in the office’s custody.

“The alleged behavior of these two former medical examiner office employees stripped families of the dignity they expected to be afforded to their deceased family members, and it broke federal law,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney said in a statement.

“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,” Department of Investigation Commissioner Margaret Garnett said in a statement. “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.”

Both men were released on bail after their court appearances, WNBC reported. Their release was predicated on travel restrictions, the television station reported.

If convicted, each man faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.