An Ohio man accused of running an illegal funeral home operation has been found guilty today (August 5) on multiple felony charges, according to ABC 6.
41-year-old Shawnte Hardin was indicted on 37 charges in October 2021 related to providing funeral services without a license. Today, a common pleas court judge in Lucas County found him guilty on 31 charges.
According to the Ohio Attorney General's Office, Hardin operated several businesses in Lucas, Cuyahoga, Summit and Franklin Counties. In September 2021, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation found two bodies in a Columbus building he was using for maskshift funeral services. In January of the same year, more than 80 cremated remains were found in an Akron Church, many of which have been identified and returned to family members. However, some of the remains have not yet been claimed.
Hardin will be sentence on August 26. A full list of the charges are as follows:
- One count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a first-degree felony
- Three counts of tampering with records, a third-degree felony
- Two counts of telecommunications fraud, a fifth-degree felony
- One count of operating an unlicensed funeral home, an unclassified misdemeanor
- One count of possessing criminal tools, a fifth-degree felony
- Six counts of abuse of a corpse, a fifth-degree felony
- Eight counts of representation of a funeral director while unlicensed, an unclassified misdemeanor
- Four counts of passing bad checks, a fifth-degree felony
- Two counts of theft, a fourth- and fifth-degree felony
- Three counts of failure to file taxes, a fifth-degree felony