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Indictment Accuses Man of Running Illegal Funeral Business


(TOLEDO, Ohio) — A Lucas County grand jury has indicted Shawnte Hardin on 37 charges related to providing funeral services without a license.

Hardin, 41, has operated several businesses in Lucas, Cuyahoga, Summit and Franklin counties since at least 2019. The business names included Hussain Funeral Directors, Celebration of Life Memorial Chapels, Hardin Funeral Home, Inc., American Mortuary Services and Transportation, and Shawnte Davon Hardin Services, LLC.

Hardin was recently in the news when the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation removed two bodies from a building he was using for makeshift funeral services at 1615 E. Livingston Ave. in Columbus.

The charges filed against him are:  

  • One count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a first-degree felony.
  • Three counts of tampering with records, third-degree felonies.
  • One count of theft, a fourth-degree felony.
  • Eight counts of abuse of a corpse, all fifth-degree felonies.
  • Five counts of failure to file taxes, all fifth-degree felonies.
  • Five counts of passing bad checks, all fifth-degree felonies.
  • Two counts of identity fraud, both fifth-degree felonies.
  • Two counts of telecommunications fraud, both fifth-degree felonies.
  • Six counts of representation as a funeral director while unlicensed, two unclassified felonies and four unclassified misdemeanors.
  • Single counts of fifth-degree felony criminal tools and unauthorized use of a vehicle.
  • One count of operating an unlicensed funeral home, an unclassified felony.
  • One count of failure to refrigerate a human body, an unclassified misdemeanor.
The case is being prosecuted by the Special Prosecutions Section of the Attorney General’s Office and was investigated by BCI.

Indictments are criminal allegations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

Steve Irwin: 614-728-5417

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