A Florida Politician Has Been Accused Of Covid Fraud
A Florida Politician Has Been Accused Of Covid Fraud

A Florida Politician Has Been Accused Of Covid Fraud

On Wednesday, federal prosecutors revealed that they will be filing charges against a Florida state legislator who, according to the allegations, defrauded the Small Business Administration out of thousands of dollars in coronavirus relief loans.

According to a press statement from the Department of Justice, State Representative Joseph Harding lied on his Small Business Administration loan applications to secure more than 150,000 dollars in SBA loans. According to the allegations made by the prosecutors, Harding listed inactive business companies on his applications, lied about the number of individuals he employed, and provided forged bank statements.

According to the release issued by the DOJ, Harding, who is 35 years old, will soon face accusations of wire fraud, money laundering, and making false statements in court. A conviction for wire fraud can result in a term of up to twenty years in jail, whilst convictions for money laundering and making false representations can result in sentences of up to ten and five years, respectively. The date selected for the beginning of his trial is January 11 in Gainesville, Florida.

A Florida Politician Has Been Accused Of Covid Fraud
A Florida Politician Has Been Accused Of Covid Fraud

In the year 2020, Harding won a seat in the House of Representatives for the state of Florida. According to the information on his website, he is still serving in public office. CNN has attempted to contact Harding’s office for comment but has not heard back.

He said in a statement that he had pleaded not guilty during an initial court hearing that took place on Wednesday. The statement was given to The New York Times. According to comments made by Harding to the Times, “I want the public and my constituents to know that I fully repaid the loan and cooperated with authorities as requested.”

The Republican from Florida has previously garnered national attention for his role as a sponsor of contentious legislation that opponents have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law because it prohibited certain types of instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity in the classroom. This legislation was one of the reasons the legislation was so controversial.

The legislation, which was officially dubbed the “Parental Rights in Education” law and brought into effect by the Republican governor of Florida in March, Ron DeSantis, sparked a firestorm across the nation and was met with immediate resistance by advocates for LGBTQ rights.

The material that was used to collect billions of dollars worth of Covid-19 relief funding was either created, stolen, or faked, according to the investigators that looked into the matter. The Covid-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force of the Department of Justice has been responsible for bringing several high-profile fraud prosecutions all around the country.

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About Sam Houston 1811 Articles
Hello, I'm Sam Houston, and I'm proud to be a part of the journalistpr.com team as a content writer. My journey into journalism has been quite an exciting ride, and it all began with a background in content creation. My roots as a content writer have equipped me with the essential skills needed to craft engaging narratives and convey information effectively. This background proved invaluable when I decided to make the transition into journalism. The transition allowed me to channel my storytelling abilities into producing news articles that not only inform but also captivate our readers.

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