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Rep. Joe Harding resigns

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Rep. Joe Harding of Ocala, who was indicted yesterday on federal charges of wire fraud, money laundering, and making false statements, has resigned from the Florida House of Representatives.

Harding released the following statement today:

It has been a great honor to serve the people of this state and more specifically the people of Levy and Marion Counties. However, due to legal issues that require my complete focus, it is my opinion that now is the time to allow someone else to serve my district.

Today, effective immediately, I am resigning from my position as the State Representative of House District 24. Thank you, and may God bless you and the state of Florida.

A special election will be held to fill the position.

The Indictment alleges that between December 1, 2020, and March 1, 2021, Harding committed two acts of wire fraud by participating in a scheme to defraud the Small Business Administration (SBA) and for obtaining coronavirus-related small business loans by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises, and for the purpose of executing such scheme, caused wire communications to be transmitted in interstate commerce. The Indictment alleges that Harding made and caused to be made false and fraudulent SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) applications, and made false representations in supporting loan documentation, in the names of dormant business entities, submitted to the SBA. The Indictment further alleges that Harding obtained fraudulently created bank statements for one of the dormant business entities which were used as supporting documentation for one of his fraudulent EIDL loan applications. By this conduct, the indictment alleges that Harding fraudulently obtained and attempted to obtain more than $150,000 in funds from the SBA to which he was not entitled. Harding is also charged with two counts of engaging in monetary transactions with funds derived from unlawful activity related to his transfer of the fraudulently obtained EIDL proceeds into two bank accounts, and two counts of making false statements to the SBA.

Harding’s trial is scheduled for Wednesday, January 11, 2023.

  • LOL… “due to legal issues” as he says in his statement. He was a goober when he represented Williston and then moved to Ocala so he could run in another district. Just who was he wanting to serve? Yet another republican in office who thinks they are above the law.

    • Repub or Dem, it doesn’t matter what party. A crook is a crook. No party has a lock on crime.

      • Why do democrats or republicans insist on ruling that anyone in the OTHER party is either good or bad?
        I’m referring to the person who gave Phil Dru a thumbs down.
        He made a good point!

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