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Florida Republican who sponsored ‘Don’t Say Gay’ indicted on Covid relief fraud charges


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A federal grand jury indicted Republican Florida state Rep. Joe Harding on multiple counts after authorities said he illegally obtained $150,000 in pandemic-related small business loans by allegedly using the names of dormant companies.

The indictment, unsealed Wednesday night, alleges that between Dec. 1, 2020 and March 1, 2021 Harding used the dormant companies on applications for loans on the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan applications, including using false bank statements as supporting documentation.

He faces two counts of wire fraud, two counts of engaging in monetary transactions because he transferred the loan money to two separate bank accounts and two counts of making false statements to the SBA.