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Toledo man indicted for running funeral home without a license

On December 6, 2018, officers were called to a building behind The Rock Church off Airport...
On December 6, 2018, officers were called to a building behind The Rock Church off Airport Highway on reports of an improperly stored body.(WTVG)
Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 5:15 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - A Lucas County grand jury indicted Shawnte Hardin on 37 charges related to providing funeral services without a license.

According to the indictment, 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.

On December 6, 2018, officers were called to a building behind The Rock Church off Airport Highway on reports of an improperly stored body. The person who made the call was a transport driver for the Lucas County Coroner.

Investigators identified Scottie Rodgers and Shawnte Hardin as suspects behind the operation. A search of an Ohio database doesn’t list either as certified by the Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors.

The charges filed against Hardin 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.

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