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Ohio House passes bill requiring state board to investigate, prosecute unlicensed funeral directing

Senate Bill 224 makes a number of changes to the law regarding funeral professionals, disposal of cremated remains and recordkeeping.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — After 10 Investigates' extensive reporting on an Ohio man accused of running a fake funeral home, Senate Bill 224 passed the legislature Wednesday. 

The legislation will require the director of the State of Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors to investigate and prosecute people who provide unlicensed funeral directing services or operate funeral homes without a license.

The bill also makes a number of changes to the law regarding funeral professionals, disposal of cremated remains and recordkeeping.

Senate Bill 224 will now head to Governor Mike DeWine's desk.

With the legislation passing the Ohio House and Senate, it would close a loophole in the current state law that 10TV exposed while reporting on Shawnte Hardin

In October 2021, 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.

In December, a grand jury indicted Hardin on seven additional charges, including:

  • 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 

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

Local News: Recent Coverage ⬇️

RELATED: Shawnte Hardin's attorney: A lot of families don't come to pick up the cremains

RELATED: Report: Ashes of 89 people found in Akron church where unlicensed funeral director was a pastor

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