Former Florida gubernatorial candidate indicted on wire fraud charges
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Former Tallahassee mayor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum has been indicted on multiple charges connected to campaign contribution fraud before and during his 2018 run for governor of Florida.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida unsealed the indictment Wednesday, showing Gillum has 21 counts against him. The indictment alleges that Gillum accepted gifts and campaign contributions from an undercover FBI agent.
Gillum is facing charges of conspiracy, wire fraud and making false statements to FBI agents, the court document says.
Sharon Lettman-Hicks was also listed as a defendant in the indictment.
It alleges that between 2016 and 2019, the two conspired to commit wire fraud by soliciting and obtaining funds from various people and companies through false promises that the money would be used for legitimate purposes.
The indictment also says the two used third parties to divert some of the money to a company Lettman-Hicks owned, then she would give the money to Gillum, disguised as payroll payments, for his personal use. According to the details laid out in the charges, at least $56,752 was paid out to Gillum via Lettman Hicks’ company, P&P Communications.
Gillum and Lettman-Hicks face 19 counts of wire fraud.
Gillum and his attorney released the following statements Wednesday morning:
“The government got it wrong today. The evidence in this case is clear and will show that Mr. Gillum is innocent of all charges. We look forward to putting this case to rest and giving Andrew and his family peace of mind once and for all,” attorney Marc Elias said.
“I have spent the last 20 years of my life in public service and continue to fight for the people. Every campaign I’ve run has been done with integrity,” Gillum said. “Make no mistake that this case is not legal, it is political. Throughout my career I have always stood up for the people of Florida and have spoken truth to power. There’s been a target on my back ever since I was the mayor of Tallahassee. They found nothing then, and I have full confidence that my legal team will prove my innocence now.”
Gillum is making his first court appearance in the U.S. Courthouse in Tallahassee at 2 p.m. Wednesday.
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