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Kansas bans man who performed illegal autopsies from working in state

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas man convicted of performing illegal autopsies has been permanently banned from doing business in the state and ordered to pay more than $700,000 in restitution and fines, the attorney general announced Wednesday. Derek Schmidt.

Shawn Parcells, 42, who lived in Leawood and Topeka, was convicted in November of three felonies and three misdemeanors related to performing illegal autopsies in Wabaunsee County. He also pleaded guilty in May to a federal wire fraud charge related to 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 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 investigation and receivership costs.

Schmidt filed a lawsuit in 2019 accusing Parcells, a self-taught pathology assistant with no formal education, of contracting with Wabaunsee County to perform autopsies and then failing to complete them according to state law. State, especially in the absence of a certified pathologist.

The judge also barred Parcells and his companies from doing business in Kansas related to the human body or providing regulated services like healing art, including any COVID-related services.

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

Prior to his guilty 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 full autopsy reports.

His sentencing in the case is scheduled for September 15.




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