Man who performed illegal autopsies banned from working in Kansas

TOPEKA, Kan. — A Kansas man convicted of performing illegal autopsies has been permanently banned from doing business in the state and must pay more than $700,000 in restitutions and fines, Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced Wednesday.

Shawn Parcells, 42, who lived in Leawood and Topeka, was convicted in November of three felonies and three felonies in connection with conducting illegal autopsies in Wabaunsee County. He also pleaded guilty in May to a federal charge of fraud related to the autopsies.

The crimes in Wabaunsee County took place in 2014 and 2015. His conviction is pending.

Shawnee County District Court Judge Mary Christopher ordered Parcells to pay $254,762 to 82 consumers in connection with the private autopsy services in Wabaunsee County. He was also ordered to pay the county $49,600 in damages; $400,000 for violating state laws; and $60,000 in research and trustee fees.

Schmidt filed a lawsuit in 2019 accusing Parcells, a self-taught pathology assistant with no formal training, of contracting Wabaunsee County to perform autopsies and then failing to complete them under state law, including the lack of a licensed pathologist. .

The judge also banned Parcells and his companies from doing business in Kansas related to the human body, or performing services regulated as healing arts, including all COVID-related services.

During the investigation, the state took control of more than 1,700 biological samples collected by Parcells. Schmidt said on Wednesday the state receivership will end soon and families will be notified when they have 30 days to release the samples.

For his plea in federal court, Parcells faced 10 counts of wire fraud. Prosecutors allege that at least 375 people paid him more than $1.1 million between May 2016 and May 2019 for a full pathology study and diagnosis of a family member’s cause of death, but the families never received the full autopsy reports.

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His sentencing in that case is scheduled for September 15.

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