Parcells indicted for basing autopsy business on fraudulent claims

Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 4:39 PM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Kan. (WIBW) - A Kansas man that ran an autopsy business has been indicted on federal fraud charges.

U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister says Shawn Parcells, 41, of Leawood, who ran an autopsies-for-hire business, has been indicted on federal charges of fraud. He said other than criminal penalties, the indictment is also seeking to recover over $1 million in fees paid by clients. He said victims are encouraged to email or call 316-660-6439.

According to McAllister, Parcells has been charged with 10 counts of wire fraud.

McAllister said the indictment alleges that Parcells falsely led clients to believe they would get an autopsy report prepared by a pathologist. In fact, he said in most cases, no pathologist was involved in the autopsies done. He said Parcells was not a physician or a pathologist and worked from 1996 to 2003 as a pathologist’s assistant in the Jackson County, Mo., Medical Examiner’s Office.

According to McAllister, Parcells offered private autopsy services through his business, National Autopsy Services, located in Topeka. He said clients generally paid around $3,000 plus upfront expenses for a full pathological study and diagnosis as the cause of the death of a family member.

McAllister said the indictment alleges that from May 11, 2016, to May 5, 2019, Parcells obtained fees from around 375 clients for a total of over $1.1 million, but failed to provide completed reports in most of the cases.

McAllister said if convicted, Parcells could face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on each count. He said the FBI and the Kansas Attorney General’s Office investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine Kenney is prosecuting.

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