WOOD COUNTY, Ohio — Dashcam video released by the Ohio State Highway Patrol Thursday shows the moment of troopers arresting a Columbus man accused of running an illegal funeral business.
In the video, a trooper pulled over an SUV Wednesday in Wood County for a traffic signal violation. After speaking with the driver, the trooper then noticed that the person sitting in the backseat was Shawnte Hardin.
Hardin told the trooper he was on his way to court for an arrangement. Hardin was then arrested after the trooper learned there was a warrant for his arrest.
Hardin is now in the Lucas County Jail and will appear in court Friday on 37 counts related to his funeral services business.
The indictment out of Lucas County accuses Hardin of posing as a funeral director while unlicensed and passing bad checks. He is also charged with several counts of abuse of a corpse and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.
Hardin has denied all charges against him and said the services he offered did not require a license.
Michael Smith is the president of the Ohio Funeral Directors Association and says consumers can avoid dealing with funeral fraud by asking funeral directors for their licenses.
You can also check their status on the state's database.
“When we find out there are people out there impersonating funeral directors and taking advantage of those families at the hardest time of their lives it offends us greatly,” he said.
Hardin plans to plead not guilty to all charges, according to his attorney. His arraignment is scheduled for 9 a.m. in Toledo.