Toledo man charged with operating unlicensed funeral home

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) – A Lucas County grand jury has indicted Shawnte Hardin with 37 counts relating to the provision of unlicensed funeral services.

According to the indictment, Hardin, 41, has operated multiple businesses in Lucas, Cuyahoga, Summit and Franklin counties since at least 2019. Business names have included Hussain Funeral Directors, Celebration of Life Memorial Chapels, Hardin Funeral Home, Inc., American Mortuary Services and Transportation, and Shawnte Davon Hardin Services, LLC.

On December 6, 2018, officers were called to a building behind The Rock Church, near the airport freeway, following reports of a body improperly stored. The person who made the call was a transport driver for the Lucas County Coroner.

Investigators have identified Scottie Rodgers and Shawnte Hardin as suspects behind the operation. A search of an Ohio database also does not list as certified by the Board of Embalmers and Undertakers.

The charges against Hardin are:

  • One count of engaging in a corrupt business pattern, a first degree felony.
  • Three counts of falsification of records, crimes in the third degree.
  • One count of theft, a fourth degree felony.
  • Eight counts of corpse abuse, all fifth degree crimes.
  • Five counts of failure to report taxes, all fifth degree felonies.
  • Five counts of passing bad checks, all fifth degree felonies.
  • Two counts of identity theft, both fifth degree felonies.
  • Two counts of telecommunications fraud, both fifth degree felonies.
  • Six counts of performing as an unlicensed funeral director, two unclassified felonies and four unclassified misdemeanors.
  • Single counts of fifth degree criminal tools and unauthorized use of a vehicle.
  • One count of operating an unauthorized funeral home, an unclassified felony.
  • One count of non-refrigeration of a human body, an unclassified misdemeanor.

The case is being pursued by the Special Prosecutions Section of the Attorney General’s Office and has been investigated by BCI.

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