Andrew Gillum, former Tallahassee mayor and Democratic nominee for Florida governor indicted on federal expenses of wire fraud, false statements to FBI

Washington – Former Tallahassee mayor and 2018 Democratic nominee for Florida Governor Andrew Gillum was indicted on 21 counts, together with conspiracy, wire fraud and making false statements to investigators. 

In accordance with the federal indictment unsealed Wednesday within the Northern District of Florida, Gillum and his associate-turned-co-defendant, communications govt Sharon Lettman-Hicks, allegedly solicited a whole bunch of 1000’s of {dollars} in marketing campaign and different funds after which diverted parts of the funds for his or her private use and achieve. 

The duo is accused of teaming as much as take funds largely paid to Lettman-Hick’s communications agency from Gillum’s gubernatorial marketing campaign and different political contributions.  

Charging paperwork say that when Gillum introduced his candidacy for governor in 2017, he resigned from a place at a company that paid him a wage of over $100,000 a 12 months. To compensate for that loss, Lettman-Hicks allegedly listed Gillum as an worker and later as an “unbiased contractor” at her agency as an alleged “cowl” to supply Gillum with a income stream. 

The indictment alleges that on quite a few events between 2016 and 2019, Gillum and his affiliate additionally used their work with native organizations and political coalitions to lift cash after which divert the funds to accounts that they managed. 

In 2018, prosecutors say Gillum solicited a donation of $250,000 for his gubernatorial marketing campaign from an unnamed particular person below the guise that all the cash could be used to bolster Gillum’s political ambitions by a political motion committee. He and Lettman-Hicks allegedly diverted $132,000 of that donation for his or her private use and disguised the inflow of money as a service rendered by Lettmann-Hicks’ communications agency. Solely $100,000 of the meant donation really funded Gillum’s political motion committee, based on investigators. 

Investigators allege that in one other occasion, simply previous to the 2018 election during which Gillum was a candidate for governor, he and Lettman-Hicks once more diverted funds meant to advance his candidacy, this time from a tranche of cash that was supposed for use for a “Get Out the Vote” marketing campaign. 

After Gillum misplaced the 2018 election, the indictment accuses him of placing Lettman-Hicks in command of $130,000 within the “Get Out the Vote” cash, and collectively, they allegedly moved $60,000 to an account that belonged to the communications agency. The pair claimed that the cash was for bills incurred through the marketing campaign, however in actual fact, they allegedly used it for their very own private profit, together with six alleged funds of $5,000 made on to Gillum marked as “Finish of 12 months Bonus.” 

Prosecutors say the federal probe into Gillum’s actions started in 2015 as public corruption investigation into the town of Tallahassee, Florida, that ultimately included Gillum’s actions as the town’s mayor. 

In accordance with the indictment, starting in 2016, Gillum allegedly solicited political contributions and presents from an undercover FBI agent posing as a Florida developer who needed approval for numerous tasks in Tallahassee. Gillum is accused of accepting a lodge room, dinners, and even a ticket to the Broadway present “Hamilton” that was paid by the secret agent’s improvement firm after which mendacity about his relationship with the corporate when questioned by FBI investigators. Mendacity to investigators is a federal crime. 

In an announcement, Gillum known as the case “political” and stated that “there’s been a goal on my again ever since I used to be the mayor of Tallahassee.”

“Each marketing campaign I’ve run has been performed with integrity,” he wrote in an announcement.
They discovered nothing then, and I’ve full confidence that my authorized workforce will show my innocence now.”

Attorneys for Gillum, Democratic lawyer Marc Elias and David Oscar Markus, stated “the federal government received it incorrect at this time.”

“The proof on this case is evident and can present that Mr. Gillum is harmless of all expenses. We sit up for placing this case to relaxation and giving Andrew and his household peace of thoughts as soon as and for all,” he stated. 

Gillum, who was additionally a metropolis commissioner in Tallahassee, was seen as a rising star within the celebration that leaned extra progressive throughout his time period as mayor. He was the 2018 Democratic nominee for governor in Florida and misplaced to Republican Governor Ron DeSantis by about 1 level, just below 33,000 votes. 

In March 2020, Gillum checked into rehab to deal with his alcoholism after cops discovered him “inebriated” in a South Seaside lodge with a person who had been taking crystal methamphetamine. 

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