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‘Don’t Say Gay’ Florida lawmaker indicted on fraud charges

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida lawmaker who sponsored the controversial regulation critics name “Don’t Say Gay” has been indicted on prices of defrauding a federal coronavirus mortgage program for small companies, officers stated Wednesday.

Federal prosecutors stated Rep. Joe Harding, 35, illegally obtained or tried to acquire greater than $150,000 from the Small Enterprise Administration in pandemic aid loans. He’s being charged with two counts of wire fraud, two counts of cash laundering and two counts of creating false statements.

Harding, a Republican, grew to become nationally know this 12 months over his sponsorship of a regulation that forbids instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten via third grade, in addition to materials that’s not deemed age-appropriate.

Harding didn’t instantly return an emailed request for remark. A voicemail left at his workplace was not instantly returned. It’s unclear if he has employed a lawyer.

The Republican speaker of the Florida Home of Representatives has quickly eliminated Harding from his committee assignments within the Legislature.

A trial is scheduled for Jan. 11.

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