One of the most vicious things to come out of the state of Florida in recent years is the Parental Rights in Education Act, otherwise known as “Don’t Say Gay”. orientation and gender identity in any way in kindergarten through third grade – was introduced by Florida State Representative Joe Harding in January 2022. But not Harding only wants to ban talk about sexual orientation and gender identity – he also wanted to require teachers to send students to their parents. At this point, you may be wondering, “What kind of bad person would come up with something like that?” And the answer is: the same kind of person who allegedly also steals COVID relief funds!
On Wednesday, a federal grand jury charged Harding — whose amendment re:outing kids was dropped before “Don’t Say Gay” became law — of fraudulently obtaining and attempting to obtain more than $150,000 in federal pandemic relief funds. , the legislator filed fraudulent applications with the Small Business Administration naming companies that had no employees or revenue in the 12 months leading up to the start of the pandemic. In the ‘Vak Shack’ case, Harding allegedly lied, saying the company had four employees and earned about $420,000 during that period. When applying for funds for “Harding Farms,” he falsely claimed that the dormant company had two employees and earned $392,000 between January 2019 and January 2020. filed a “fraudulently prepared bank statement.”
Prosecutors say Harding made illegal wire transfers for $30,000 and $15,000 respectively in January and February 2021. In all, he was charged with six counts of money laundering, bank fraud and making false statements, and five face up to 3 years in prison A trial is scheduled for January 11, 2023.
Harding, who has pleaded not guilty, said in a statement released Wednesday: “I want the public and my constituents to know that I have fully repaid the loan and cooperated with investigators as requested.” He did not appear to comment on the allegation that the Loans in question were obtained fraudulently. In a separate statement, Florida House Speaker Paul Renner said Harding was temporarily relieved of his committee duties, adding: “Representative Harding is presumed innocent and will have the opportunity to present his case in a court of law.”
Meanwhile, “Don’t Say Gay” continues to terrorize the people of Florida.