Indicted on federal charges including wire fraud, former Democratic Party rising star and Former Florida Governor Andrew Gillum was arrested on Wednesday. In 2018, he came within half a percentage point of being elected governor of Florida.
Former Florida Governor Candidate Andrew Gillum Indicted For Several Charges
Mr. Gillum, who is 42 years old, has denied the allegations. He has said that they are politically motivated. According to court documents, he was released after entering a not guilty plea during his initial court appearance in Tallahassee, Florida.
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The former mayor of Tallahassee, who had previously galvanized liberal voters with eloquent rhetoric about economic and social justice, had recently run into more trouble after losing to Florida’s current governor, Republican Ron DeSantis, by a sharp margin.
According to the police report, Mr. Gillum was found in a hotel room in Miami Beach in 2020 with two other men, one of whom had apparently overdosed on drugs. According to the report, police officers allegedly discovered small baggies of crystal meth inside the dwelling. According to the police, Mr. Gillum was too drunk to give a statement.
Mr. Gillum has since announced his intention to leave public life and seek treatment for his alcoholism. He came out as bisexual to a talk show host later that year, amid rampant rumors about his orientation.
The 21-count indictment that was unsealed on Wednesday has nothing to do with the incident in 2020 or any drug allegations, but rather with Mr. Gillum’s financial dealings with political consultant Sharon Lettman-Hicks, 53, primarily in the months leading up to the 2018 election.
According to a press release issued by the Justice Department, the two “illegally solicited and obtained funds from various individuals and entities by making false and fraudulent promises and representations that the funds would be used for a legitimate purpose.”
In a statement released by his lawyers, Former Florida Governor Andrew Gillum claimed, “Every campaign I’ve run has been done with integrity. Make no mistake that this case is not legal, it is political.”
Also, “There’s been a target on my back ever since I was mayor of Tallahassee,” Mr. Gillum said. A court document shows that Ms. Lettman-Hicks, who was also indicted, pleaded not guilty. She declined to comment when asked.
Disgraced former candidate for Florida Governor, Andrew Gillum, and his advisor Sharon Letterman-Hicks, were indicted by a federal grand jury for wire fraud. https://t.co/Bn7YWOJjMM
— MissMAGA2016 (@MissMaga2016) June 22, 2022
The two defendants are alleged to have participated in a scheme in which they fraudulently obtained money from donors for various purposes, including Mr. Gillum’s campaign for governor. According to the indictment, the defendants used intermediaries to transfer funds to a business controlled by Ms. Lettman-Hicks.
According to the indictment, she then gave Mr. Gillum the money for his own use after passing it off as payroll payments. According to the indictment, in 2017 and 2018, he was paid approximately $3,500 in biweekly payments, rising to $5,000. It is stated in the indictment that the payments were made to compensate for lost income after the defendant resigned from his position with the organization and focused full-time on his campaign for governor.
According to the indictment, Mr. Gillum also lied to the FBI in 2017 during the bureau’s investigation of public corruption in Tallahassee. It claimed, for instance, that he had lied about being approached by a company owned by an undercover FBI agent posing as a developer offering to make campaign contributions.
The indictment further alleges that Mr. Gillum concealed a 2016 trip to New York City, during which he was treated to a hotel stay, a boat ride, and tickets to see the Broadway show “Hamilton” from undercover FBI agents.
The maximum sentence for wire fraud is 20 years in prison, while the maximum sentence for making false statements is five years in prison. Ms. Lettman-Hicks, according to a court document, has agreed to turn herself into the FBI on Wednesday morning.
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