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 β€œa 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.

β€œIt’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.

β€œDuring 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. β€œMr. 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.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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