Funeral home director pleads not guilty

Funeral home director pleads not guilty »Play Video
FILE - James Gamble, owner of Beloved Care Funeral Services, comments Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, on a multi-agency investigation into his company. Nine bodies were found allegedly improperly stored. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — The owner of a Bakersfield funeral home facing a local financial fraud investigation pleaded not guilty to three misdemeanor charges on Thursday.

James Otis Gamble, 58, owner of the Beloved Care Funeral Services, pleaded not guilty three charges based on California Health and Safety violations of "had a license omitted to perform duty within a reasonable time," according to Kern County court records.

Three bodies were kept for longer than the 30-day standard, according to an official with the Kern County District Attorney's Office.

Gamble, who called the charges "arbitrary," could face jail time if he's found guilty.