Columbus business owner denies claiming he runs funeral home
Shawnte Hardin denies claims he runs an illegal funeral home, saying he runs a business that helps families cut funeral expenses.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Shawnte Hardin has said he is not a funeral director but a businessman trying to help families cut their funeral expenses.
Hardin says he’s helping by offering lower prices for body transport, body wash, and makeup.
None of these services, he said, require a license and think they are targeted by the state because people don’t understand the law.
“I think the Bureau of Criminal Investigation has become a pit bull for the Ohio Board of Embalmer and Funeral Directors. They are trying to target me. I became a target because of my race, because of the knowledge I have, because of my experience, I became a target of the Ohio Board of Embalmers and the funeral home and they continue to use the Ohio Attorney General against me, ”Hardin told 10TV in an exclusive interview.
The Ohio attorney general’s office declined to comment.
His business, located at the corner of East Livingston Avenue and Seymour Avenue, was served with a search warrant by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation on Wednesday. 10TV requested a copy but was told it was under seal and not accessible to the public.
The agency declined to comment further only to say that the warrant is “part of an ongoing criminal investigation.”
Hardin admits that two embalmed bodies were removed from his business on Wednesday and has denied being kept in unsafe conditions.
“I think people have accused them of trying to be a funeral home or a real morgue. This is not what we do. We are a funeral support service where we help funeral homes. If a body has been embalmed, you do not need to have a cooler in your presence, if a body has been embalmed in accordance with the revised Ohio code
Kevin Landers: “So you deny any accusation that you are operating an illegal funeral home?”
Hardin: “I deny these accusations, we are not running an illegal funeral home. “
In 2019, Hardin was charged with passing bad checks in Summit County after a woman claimed Hardin never paid for the land she paid for or the gravestone. Hardin said today the case has been resolved and the family has been restored.
In 2018, Toledo police investigated Hardin after reports came out of a body improperly stored in a building behind a church on the airport highway. Hardin was listed as a suspect on the police report, but no charges were filed, according to News5Cleveland.
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