Former Rep. Joe Harding pleads guilty to COVID-19 relief fraud

Press release from U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Joseph Harding, 35, of Williston, Florida, pled guilty today to wire fraud, money laundering, and making false statements in connection with COVID-19 relief fraud. Jason R. Coody, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, announced the guilty plea.

Court documents reflect Harding devised a scheme to defraud the Small Business Administration (SBA) and obtained coronavirus-related small business loans by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises, and while executing such scheme, caused wire communications to be transmitted in interstate commerce. Harding also made a false and fraudulent SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) application, in the name of one of his dormant business entities, that he submitted to the SBA. By this conduct, Harding fraudulently obtained $150,000 in COVID-19 relief funds from the SBA to which he was not entitled. After obtaining the EIDL proceeds, 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.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 25, 2023, at 11:00 a.m., at the United States Courthouse in Gainesville, Florida, before the Honorable United States District Judge Allen Winsor.

Harding faces the following maximum terms of imprisonment for the offenses:

  • 20 years: Wire Fraud
  • 10 years: Money Laundering
  • 5 years: Making False Statements

The investigation was jointly conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Office of Inspector General, and the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Justin M. Keen and David P. Byron.

  • Another corrupt DemoncRat!!! And now he’s out free on bail until his July sentencing by what I assume is another woke Gainesville judge who will probably give him probation!!!

      • Now that Covid is over, they should make that what’s her name democrat finish her sentence…I think she stole from a non-profit…

        • Yeah, what’s her name…they named the RTS bus transfer thing after her…Did they ever change the name of that?

          • You mean Corrine Brown…I forgot how much she stole. Anybody remember?

    • You got confused with Corrine Brown…She’s that corrupt Demoncrat that woke judges let out…

    • Well he’s a Republican and the judge is a Republican appointed by Trump so he probably will get off with a slap on the wrist

    • Yes. He’s always with the deception…prolly has 666 on him somewhere…these progressive social Marxists are such haters.

      • Mr. Dobler’s mark is on his head or his hand because he’s for the digital cash and Vax passports in order to engage in commerce. A one world government commie. One of Satan’s minions.

  • Republican or Democrat break the law by taking advantage of people’s suffering when you have been elected to represent people go to prison.

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