(TOLEDO, Ohio) — Shawnte Hardin, a minister who was found guilty of running an illicit funeral home business across Ohio, was sentenced to 11 years, 10 months in prison today.
“Real pastors pray at funerals, not prey on grieving families,” Yost said. “The defendant’s lies, fraud and complex scheme – including literally driving bodies across the state – are thankfully ended by today’s sentence.”
On Aug. 5, Hardin was found guilty in Lucas County Common Pleas Court on 31 charges, including engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, tampering with records, telecommunications fraud, operating an unlicensed funeral home, possessing criminal tools, abuse of a corpse, representation of a funeral director while unlicensed, passing bad checks, theft and failure to file taxes.
He operated several businesses in Lucas, Cuyahoga, Summit and Franklin counties under various names: Hussain Funeral Directors, Celebration of Life Memorial Chapels, Hardin Funeral Home, Inc., American Mortuary Services and Transportation, and Shawnte Davon Hardin Services, LLC.
The case was prosecuted by the Special Prosecutions Section of the Attorney General’s Office and was investigated by the AG’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Special Prosecutions Section, and the Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors.