Levy Izhak Rosenbaum showed no immediate reaction to the sentence Wednesday in Trenton federal court.
The 61-year-old Brooklyn resident pleaded guilty last October to brokering three illegal kidney transplants for New Jersey-based customers in exchange for payments of $120,000 or more.
Prosecutors allege Rosenbaum made millions by exploiting desperate recipients and paying donors a paltry sum.
Rosenbaum admitted wrongdoing Wednesday but said his motives were altruistic. Several people testified that he'd helped saved their lives.
He was arrested in July 2009 in a sweeping federal case that became the largest corruption sting in New Jersey history.