GOP author of Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' bill indicted on money laundering charges
Florida State Rep. Joe Harding (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

A Florida state representative who authored a controversial law banning teachers from mentioning their sexuality in class has been indicted on money laundering charges.

Click Orlando reports that Florida State Rep. Joe Harding is been hit with charges of wire fraud, money laundering and making false statements over an alleged attempt to defraud the Small Business Administration out of COVID-19 emergency relief money.

"The U.S. Department of Justice said Harding, 35, created bank accounts for dormant business entities and used them to apply for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans," Click Orlando writes. "The indictment accuses Harding of obtaining and attempting to obtain more than $150,000 from the SBA, which was deposited into two bank accounts."

If he is found guilty, Harding potentially faces decades in prison, as Click Orlando notes that the wire fraud charge alone carries a sentence of up to 20 years, while the money laundering charge could potentially tack on an extra decade to his sentence.

Harding's trial is scheduled to begin in January next year.

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