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Man accused of running illegal funeral business in Ohio indicted on 7 more charges

Shawnte Hardin pleaded not guilty to 37 charges ranging from in October, ranging from abuse of a corpse to representing as a funeral director while unlicensed.

LUCAS COUNTY, Ohio — The man accused of operating an illegal funeral business was indicted on more charges in Lucas County on Tuesday.

A grand jury indicted 41-year-old Shawnte Hardin on seven charges:

  • Three counts of representing as a funeral director while unlicensed 
  • One count of abuse of a corpse
  • One count of intimidation of a crime victim or witness
  • One count of theft
  • One count of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle 

In October, Hardin was indicted on 37 charges, ranging from abuse of a corpse to representing as a funeral director while unlicensed.

Hardin pleaded not guilty to the charges, was given bond and put on house arrest, provided that he wear a monitoring device.

Hardin was also ordered to not accept money from families or engage in funeral-related activities, which includes the transportation of bodies.  

Hardin has operated several businesses in Lucas, Cuyahoga, Summit and Franklin counties since 2019.

In September, two bodies were taken from Hardin's Columbus businesses by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation. The Ohio Attorney General's office said Hardin was using the location for makeshift funeral services.

Hardin's next hearing is scheduled for Jan. 19.

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