Former Florida Republican lawmaker sent to prison for Covid-19 aid fraud

A former Florida state lawmaker who sponsored the state’s divisive law nicknamed don’t say gay was sentenced to prison on Thursday for fraudulently collecting Covid-19 pandemic small-business government aid.

The former Republican representative, Joe Harding, faced a maximum sentence of 20 years, but was sentenced to four months in federal prison.

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Following his prison sentence, Harding will have two years of supervised release, the Department of Justice said in a press release.

Harding pleaded guilty in March to several charges, including wire fraud, for fraudulently collecting $150,000 in pandemic relief funds earmarked for small businesses.

Harding’s brother-in-law, Patrick Walsh, was sentenced to more than five years in prison for a separate scheme to obtain small-business funds during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the justice department.

The Guardian