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Kansas Bans Man Who Performed Illegal Autopsies From Working In State

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas man convicted of performing illegal autopsies has been permanently banned from doing business within the state and ordered to pay greater than $700,000 in restitution 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 misdemeanors related to providing illegal autopsies in Wabaunsee County. He also pleaded guilty in May to 1 federal wire fraud charge related to the autopsies.

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

Shawnee County District Court Judge Mary Christopher ordered Parcells to pay $254,762 in restitution to 82 consumers related to 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 investigative and receivership fees.

Schmidt filed a lawsuit in 2019 accusing Parcells, a self-taught pathology assistant with no formal education, of contracting with Wabaunsee County to conduct autopsies after which not completing them in keeping with state law, including not having a licensed pathologist present.

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

Throughout the investigation, the state took control of greater than 1,700 biological samples collected by Parcells. Schmidt said Wednesday that the state’s receivership will end soon and that families can be notified after they have 30 days to hunt release of the samples.

Before his guilty plea in federal court, Parcells faced 10 counts of wire fraud. Prosecutors allege that no less than 375 people paid him greater than $1.1 million between May 2016 and May 2019 for a full pathological study and diagnosis of a member of the family’s reason for death however the families never received the total autopsy reports.

His sentencing in that case has been scheduled for Sept. 15.

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