Indictment: KS man’s autopsy business was based on fraudulent claims

Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 7:49 PM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Kan. (KWCH) - A Leawood, Kansas man who ran an autopsies-for-hire business was indicted Wednesday (Nov. 18) on federal fraud charges, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.

Forty-one-year-old Shawn Parcells is charged with 10 counts of wire fired.

“In addition to criminal penalties, the indictment seeks to recover more than $1 million in fees paid by the defendant’s clients. Victims are encouraged to email or call 316-660-6439,” a news release from McAllister’s office said.

The indictment against Parcells accuses him of falsely leading clients to believe they would receive an autopsy report prepared by a pathologist.

“In fact, in most of the cases, no pathologist was involved in the work on the autopsies,” McAllister said. “Parcells was not a physician and not a pathologist. “He worked from 1996 to 2003 as a pathologist’s assistant with the Jackson, MO. Medical Examiner’s Office.”

Parcells offered private autopsy services through his business, National Autopsy Services, based in Topeka.

“Clients generally paid a basic fee of $3,000 plus expenses upfront for a full pathological study and diagnosis as the cause of a death of a family member,” McAllister said.

The indictment says that from May 11, 2016, to May 5, 2019, Parcells obtained fees from at least 375 clients, totaling more than $1.1 million. He failed to provide a completed report in most of the cases, prosecutors said.

If convicted on the charges, Parcells could face up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on each count.

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