Florida representative who sponsored "Don't Say Gay" law jailed for fraud

Florida state Rep. Joe Harding sponsored the state's so-called "Don't Say Gay" law, which prohibits discussion of sexuality and gender in schools. He resigned in December after being charged with fraud, pleaded guilty in March to the crime, and was sentenced Friday to four months in Federal prison.

"The theft of any amount of taxpayer funds is inexcusable," said U.S. Attorney Jason Coody in a news release. "However, the defendant's deceptive acts of diverting emergency financial assistance from small businesses during the pandemic is simply beyond the pale."

According to court documents, Harding made false statements to the Small Business Administration while applying for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan for one of his dormant business entities. After obtaining $150,000 in Covid-19 relief funds, prosecutors said Harding conducted three monetary transactions, each involving more than $10,000 in fraudulently obtained funds: a transfer to his joint bank account, a payment to his credit card and a transfer into a bank account of a third-party business entity.

Better-paid for his time than the officers working there! Do many people who admit to stealing hudnreds of thousands of dollars get 18 weeks in prison? Here's a clue:

Patrick Parker Walsh, a brother-in-law of Harding, also pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering related to pandemic relief and was sentenced in January to more than five years in prison