Ohio man faces new charges of running unlicensed funeral homes


TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — A man accused of running unlicensed funeral operations in four counties across Ohio has been indicted on seven new charges including abuse of a corpse.

The charges against Shawnte Hardin are on top of 37 counts, mostly felonies, that he already faces.

A Lucas County grand jury on Tuesday indicted Hardin on charges that included representing as a funeral director while unlicensed and theft.

Authorities have said he ran funeral services in Summit, Cuyahoga, Franklin and Lucas counties without having a license. He pleaded not guilty in October to 37 counts that included tampering with records, passing bad checks, identity fraud and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.

A message seeking comment was left with his attorney, Harden previously denied allegations that he was running an illegal funeral home, telling WBNS-TV in Columbus that he offered lower-cost services for transporting and washing bodies.

Hardin operated businesses during the past couple years under names such as Hussain Funeral Directors and Celebration of Life Memorial Chapels, according to the Ohio attorney general’s office, which is prosecuting the case.

He also was a pastor at Greater Faith Missionary Baptist Church in Akron, the Akron Beacon Journal reported.