updated 4/27/2006 12:31:36 PM ET 2006-04-27T16:31:36

A Chicago man was sentenced to life in prison for a bizarre murder plot in which a homeless man was killed so his body could be passed off as a federal defendant, who was trying to fake his own death.

Harry Rand, 49, was sentenced Wednesday for setting up the victim, 47-year-old William White, who had been his friend.

Prosecutors say White was suffocated in 2001 by the federal defendant, Joseph Kalady, who later died in prison.

Kalady was facing trial on charges of operating a fraudulent document mill and had hoped to fake his death by having his brother falsely identify White’s body as his, prosecutors said.

After White was killed, police and paramedics responded to a call that Joseph Kalady had died of natural causes. Prosecutors say Michael Kalady falsely identified the body as his brother.

Officials soon grew suspicious, though, because the dead man weighed 175 pounds. Kalady, 62, weighed about 450 pounds.

Through fingerprints, the body was identified as White, and authorities launched a search for Kalady. Investigators found him in the Boston area, returned him to Chicago and charged him with murder. Kalady died in prison in 2003 before trial.

At least six people have been convicted in the plot.

Also Wednesday, Raul Rodriguez, 45, was sentenced to 28 years in prison for his part in the killing, and Peggy Flaherty, 62, was sentenced to two years’ probation for driving Kalady to Boston after White’s murder.

Michael Kalady was sentenced in January to 12 years in prison and five years of supervised release for aiding and abetting White’s murder.

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