A former GOP lawmaker pleaded guilty to allegations of wire fraud, money laundering, and making false statements to defraud the government of COVID relief cash.
Joe Harding introduced Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” legislation last year and resigned from his seat in December after his indictment. He is facing up to 35 years in prison.
Prosecutors said Harding fraudulently obtained $150,000 of COVID relief funds using false statements on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan application, bolstering claims with fake bank statements.
Harding was originally elected to the Florida House in 2020 and sponsored the legislation that stops public school teachers discussing sexual orientation or gender identity.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has White House aspirations, signed the bill into law one year ago in March 2022.
Joe Harding, who resigned from his seat in December following his indictment, could now be facing up to 35 years in prison. https://t.co/oAcNHlI84g— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) March 22, 2023
(Photo, YouTube; via The Daily Beast)