Beginning in 2003 the business began paying Demosthenes Lalisan and Richard Alan Hicks, the director and associate director of the Alabama Organ Center, a percentage of revenues earned by providing transportation and facilities for tissue recovery from deceased payments. The mortuary constructed a separate tissue recovery room in 2009 to separate those procedures from its embalming practice. That year employee overheard a conversation about fabricating extra charges for those services to enrich the participants. He was subsequently assaulted and threatened with being "cremated alive" if he reported the conversations. He quit and did file a criminal report with federal authorities.
Lalisan and Hicks pleaded guilty to federal charges of theft by deception and served prison time. Nagel was charged separately with fraud in Jefferson County Circuit Court, but was acquitted at trial. The whistleblower filed a civil lawsuit against Nagel, who was found responsible for the fraud and ordered to pay nearly $15 million in damages to the former employee and to the government.
- Faulk, Kent (May 18, 2012) "Alabama Organ Center kickbacks detailed." The Birmingham News
- Faulk, Kent (September 3, 2016) "Jury: Funeral home director not guilty in alleged Alabama Organ Center kickback scheme." The Birmingham News
- "Judge awards whistleblower nearly $15 million" (March 1, 2018) Associated Press