Ohio – Ohio – Shawnte Hardin was found guilty of operating an unlawful funeral home company throughout the state of Ohio, and his illegal business was present in several counties, including Lucas, Cuyahoga, Summit, and Franklin.
The legal proceedings for Harding’s unauthorized operations began earlier this year. Although he was able to submit a guilty plea, he chose to maintain his innocence and proceed with the legal procedure. A Lucas County Common Pleas Court judge found him guilty earlier this month, and the suspect was likely to be sentenced to many years in jail.
The scheduled sentencing date was August 26. For 31 charges, Hardin was sentenced to 11 years and 10 months in prison on Friday. According to a press statement issued by the office of Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, he was convicted of theft, possession of criminal tools, and abuse of a corpse.
Hardin stated in court that he only offered low-cost services for transporting and cleaning dead bodies. He claimed that he never acted as a funeral director while running his illegal company.
Yost said after Harding’s sentencing that he was pleased to see him behind bars and that he got what he deserved. According to Yost, Harding’s business operations were a fraudulent and complex scheme. Yost noted that the complex criminal scheme finally came to an end on Friday.
It turned out that Hardin’s plan involved several companies that did business under different names. Hussain Funeral Directors, Celebration of Life Memorial Chapels, Hardin Funeral Home, Inc., American Mortuary Services and Transportation, and Shawnte Davon Hardin Services, LLC are some of the names under which Hardin was offering his “services” to grieving families.