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Home TOP Ferguson ‘Pathologist’ Performs Autopsy Using Fake Credentials – DoJ

Ferguson ‘Pathologist’ Performs Autopsy Using Fake Credentials – DoJ

  • Shawn Lynn Parcells, 42, was sentenced Monday to five years and nine months in prison.
  • He pleaded guilty in May to one count of wire fraud related to conducting an illegal autopsy, according to the DOJ.
  • Parcells assured the client he was eligible to perform an autopsy based on false credentials, the DOJ said.

A Kansas businessman was sentenced Monday to five years and nine months in prison after pleading guilty in May to one count of wire fraud related to conducting an illegal autopsy, the US Department of Justice said.

Shawn Lynn Parcells, 42, of Topeka, used his business, National Autopsy Services LLC, to secure payments from more than 350 clients for a total of $1,166,000 over the three years between 2016 and 2019, according to court documents.

“In many cases, the accused failed to provide an authentic and complete report,” the Justice Department said in a press release Monday.

In one instance, in July 2016, Parcells convinced a client that he was eligible to perform an autopsy based on false credentials, the Justice Department said.

The client paid Parcells $5,000, receiving an email copy of an autopsy report from him that included opinions made within a “certain level of medical certainty as a Fellow of Forensic, Neuro, and Infectious Epidemiology,” according to the Department of Justice.

None of the pathologists who participated in the examination or report, which appears to have been written by Parcells, did not have the necessary medical credentials, the Justice Department said.

“It’s troubling whenever criminals defraud to present themselves as professionals to commit fraud on unwitting victims,” ​​said US Attorney Duston Slinkard, per a press release. “But the fact that Parcells’ scheme is based on exploiting the grief and loss of others makes his actions a predatory crime.”

The FBI Special Agent in Charge, Charles Dayoub, said in a press release that Parcells “deliberately deceived individuals while they were grieving.”

He continued: “He used deception to prey on those seeking answers around the death of their loved ones by claiming to be a pathologist and being able to provide those answers. Mr Parcells fraudulently collected fees and profited from their grief for his own personal gain.”

Parcells became an “overnight media star” in 2014, according to CNN, when he assisted in an autopsy commissioned by the family of Michael Brown – an unarmed black man shot dead by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.

A CNN investigation found that he sometimes performed autopsy procedures in the absence of a doctor despite having no formal education in pathology.

In November last year, Parcells was convicted in Wabaunsee County on three counts of felony theft and three counts of misdemeanor criminal blasphemy. He has not been sentenced on these criminal charges. In August this year, a Kansas district judge barred Parcells from doing business in the state in services related to the body or healing. He was also ordered to pay more than $250,000 in damages.


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