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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Kansas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 19, 2022

Man Sentenced After Performing Autopsies Using False Credentials

TOPEKA, KAN. – A man was sentenced today to 69 months in prison for engaging in a wire fraud scheme.

In May 2022, Shawn Lynn Parcells, 42, of Topeka pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. According to court documents, in July 2016, Parcells, as owner of National Autopsy Services LLC, convinced a client he was qualified to conduct an autopsy based on the false credentials. The client paid the defendant $5,000.00 and received an emailed copy of a final report from Parcells. The report included an opinion made within “a certain degree of medical certainty as a Forensic, Neuro, and Infectious Disease Epidemiology Fellow,” and appeared authored by the defendant.  No pathologist participated in this examination or report.

According to court documents, between May 2016 and May 2019, the defendant used NAS to obtain fees from more than 350 clients for a total amount of $1,166,000. In many cases, the defendant failed to provide an authentic completed report.

“It’s troubling whenever criminals deceptively present themselves as professionals to commit fraud on unwitting victims, but the fact that Parcells’ schemes were predicated upon exploiting the grief and bereavement of others, makes his act a particularly predatory crime,” said U.S. Attorney Duston Slinkard.

“During their most vulnerable state, Mr. Parcells willfully defrauded individuals while they were grieving the loss of a loved one. He used deception as a means to prey on those looking to find answers surrounding the death of their loved ones by claiming to be a pathologist and being able to provide those answers” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Charles Dayoub. “Mr. Parcells fraudulently collected fees and profited on their grief for his own personal gain.  Today’s sentencing sends a clear message - the FBI will hold those accountable who use deception and fraud to take advantage of others in our community.”

The FBI and the Office of the Kansas Attorney General investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine Kenney prosecuted the case.

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Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated September 19, 2022