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AG Derek Schmidt: Kansas man, corporate entities banned from doing business, ordered to pay $250,000 in restitution related to unlawful autopsy services

Release Date: Aug 10, 2022

TOPEKA – (August 10, 2022) – A Kansas man and three corporate entities he controlled have been permanently banned from doing business and ordered to pay more than $250,000 in restitution related to providing unlawful autopsy services, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said today.

Shawn Parcells, 42, who has resided in both Leawood and Topeka, and corporate entities Parcells Forensic Pathology Group LLC; ParCo-Parcells and Company, LLC; and National Autopsy and Tissue Recovery Services, Inc., were ordered by Shawnee County District Court Judge Mary Christopher to pay $254,762.98 in restitution to 82 consumers related to private autopsy services. Parcells and the corporations were also ordered to pay a $200,000 penalty for violating the Kansas Consumer Protection Act, a $200,000 penalty for violation of the Kansas False Claims Act related to coroner ordered autopsy services provided to Wabaunsee County, and ordered to pay Wabaunsee County $49,600 in damages. Parcells and the corporations were also ordered to pay $60,000 in investigative and receivership fees. Parcells agreed to the terms in consent judgments approved last week by Christopher.

Christopher banned Parcells and the corporate entities from doing business in Kansas related to services relating to the human body; performing services regulated as a healing art, including any COVID-related services; and from filing a claim against any political subdivision. He is required to comply with all Kansas statutes that regulate any profession, and is prohibited from using any titles or initials that include professions in the healing arts or any other profession for which he is not educated, certified or qualified.

Schmidt initially filed the case in 2019 alleging Parcells contracted with Wabaunsee County to conduct coroner-ordered autopsies and failed to conduct them in accordance with Kansas law. Additionally, the petition alleged Parcells performed private autopsies without the presence or supervision of a licensed pathologist or otherwise in violation of consumer protection laws.

In the course of the civil investigation and litigation, the state obtained control of more than 1,700 biological samples collected by Parcells. In November 2019, Christopher appointed the secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment as receiver and directed KDHE to take control of the samples. Under court order, the state cataloged and stored the samples. Schmidt said that upon proper and verified request, samples are released to family members who request them. The receivership is ending soon; a notice will be posted on the attorney general’s website and distributed to the media providing family members 30 days to submit a request for release of samples. After that date, any remaining samples not requested for release will be processed by order of the court. Family members may call the attorney general’s Victim Services Division at (785) 291-3950 for more information.

“It is important to remember that behind all these case details are individuals and family members who have been put in unimaginable circumstances due to Parcells’s conduct,” Schmidt said. “Navigating the loss of a loved one can be difficult enough, but the additional harm created by Shawn Parcells has added to that difficulty. Though the resolution of this case does not undo that harm, our hope is that affected family members can now at least properly grieve.”

In November 2021, a jury convicted Parcells on six criminal charges related to providing autopsy services in Wabaunsee County. In that case, Parcells was convicted of three counts of felony theft and three misdemeanor counts of criminal desecration. The jury found that Parcells unlawfully obtained money from Wabaunsee County to perform autopsies in three cases. In addition, Parcells had unauthorized control of bodies, and performed autopsies in three instances without a pathologist performing the autopsies, acts that are all in violation of state law. Parcells’ crimes took place in 2014 and 2015. Sentencing is pending.

The civil case against Parcells was handled by Assistant Attorney General Melanie Jack of Schmidt’s office. Copies of the consent judgments are available at www.inyourcornerkansas.org/judgments

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