Kansas man accused of autopsy fraud expected to plead guilty

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Posted at 6:31 PM, Feb 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-05 19:31:00-05

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas man accused of fooling people into paying for autopsies that his company never performed plans to plead guilty to federal charges, according to court records.

Shawn Parcells, of Leawood, on Tuesday filed a notice of intent to change his plea in federal court in Topeka. A change of plea hearing is scheduled for March 3.

David Magariel, Parcells’ attorney, declined to comment, The Kansas City Star reported.

Parcells, who claimed to be a pathologist but had no formal training, faces 10 federal charges of wire fraud.

Prosecutors allege that his Topeka-based company, National Autopsy Services, claimed to provide private autopsies. At least 375 people paid him more than $1.1 million between May 2016 and May 2019 for a full pathological study and diagnosis of a family member’s cause of death, prosecutors said.

The full autopsy reports were never provided to the families, according to the federal indictment.

Parcells was convicted in November 2021 on three misdemeanor counts of criminal desecration and three felony counts of theft in Wabaunsee County.

And Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has sued Parcells, claiming that he failed to conduct coroner-ordered autopsies in Wabaunsee County in accordance with state law. Schmidt alleged Parcells duped at least 82 people.