On October 18, 2023, Joe Harding, an American politician and businessman who served as a member of the Florida House of Representatives from 2020 until his resignation in 2022, was sentenced to 4 months in federal prison, with 2 years of supervised release, and a US$300 fine. This sentence followed his guilty plea on March 21, 2023, to one count of wire fraud, one count of money laundering, and one count of making false statements.

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Harding had been indicted on December 7, 2022, by a federal grand jury on six counts of wire fraud and money laundering related to defrauding the Small Business Administration of over US$150,000 in COVID-19-related small business loans. Following the indictment, he resigned on December 8, 2022, forfeiting his committee assignments in the process.

Harding, a member of the Republican Party, gained notoriety for introducing the Florida Parental Rights in Education Act, often referred to as the “Don’t Say Gay” act. This legislation sparked controversy by restricting discussions of LGBT-related topics in Florida Kindergarten through 3rd-grade classrooms. The act faced widespread opposition, drawing criticism from President Joe Biden, the United Nations Human Rights Council via an independent expert, and various human rights organizations.