A Kansas Man Pocketed More Than $1.1 Million Running Illegal Autopsy Businesses

Autopsy

Kansas man sentenced for wire fraud after admitting running an illegal autopsy scheme.

The U.S. Attorney’s office said Shawn Parcells, 42, of Topeka and Leawood, was sentenced Monday to one count of wire fraud. He pleaded guilty in May. Nine other fraud charges were dropped as part of the plea deal. He was sentenced to six years in prison.

A client received an autopsy report emailed by Parcells that appeared to have been authored by Parcells, according to court records. Parcells, as the owner of National Autopsy Services, persuaded the client to pay $5,000 for the autopsy. In this case, no pathologist participated in the examination or report, which is illegal.

During the period from 2016 to 2019, Parcells, a self-taught pathology assistant with no formal education, made over $1.1 million from more than 350 clients who hired him to perform autopsies. Prosecutors say in many cases those autopsies were not actually performed.

According to Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, Parcells conducted illegal autopsies at three companies he ran.

In August, Parcells was banned from doing business in Kansas and ordered to pay over $700,000 in restitution and fines for state cases. In addition, Parcells was ordered to pay $250,000 to 82 former clients.

The conviction came after he was convicted of three felonies and three misdemeanors in November regarding the provision of illegal autopsies in Wabaunsee County.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has taken custody of more than 1,600 biological samples, mostly human tissue, that Parcells collected as part of the scheme.

For more on this story, please consider these sources:

  1. Kansas man sentenced to more than 5 years for performing illegal autopsies – CNN
  2. Kansas man sentenced to nearly 6 years in prison for illegal autopsy scheme – CBS News
  3. Topeka man faces 5+ years after performing autopsies using false credentials – KWCH
  4. Overland Park man who botched autopsies sentenced to prison for wire fraud – KCTV 5
John Nightbridge is a veteran reporter, researcher, and economic policy major from UCLA. Passionate about world issues and potential ways to solve them is a significant focus of his work. Writing freelance and reading the news are John's passions at work. Outside of work, it's all about sky diving, surfing, and stock market modeling.