Harding pleaded no longer in charge all over an listening to on Tuesday, the similar day the grand jury indicted him, and mentioned he has repaid the loans. He was once launched on bond in a while after the initial listening to.
The indictment alleges he fraudulently won $150,000 in federal pandemic help thru. His trial is about for Jan. 11 in Gainesville federal court docket.
In a while after the indictment was once unsealed Wednesday, Florida Area Speaker Paul Renner introduced Harding was once got rid of from his committee posts. He mentioned for the reason that allegation didn’t contain his provider as a member of the Florida Area, he would no longer remark additional.
The indictment unsealed through the government claims that Harding indexed The Vak Shack and Harding Farms, each firms that were inactive since 2017, on software for SBA loans designed to lend a hand small companies live on the pandemic. He additionally lied about their earnings numbers, financial institution statements, and worker counts to protected the loans, federal investigators allege.
The Marion County consultant was once first elected in 2020 and is very best recognized for being the Area sponsor for law that banned dialogue of gender id or sexual orientation in study rooms up till 3rd grade. The invoice, which combatants branded the “Don’t Say Homosexual” invoice, sparked protests and were given nationwide consideration.
A different election will now be held to fill his vacant seat.