Gillum‚ DeSantis and Bill DeSantis Indicted in Federal CourtIn a criminal complaint filed in Florida federal court‚ Andrew Gillum was indicted along with two other candidates for governor: former Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis and current Tallahassee Mayor Bill DeSantis. They are each charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and making false statements to FBI agents. During a brief court appearance Wednesday‚ Gillum denied any wrongdoing and said he is innocent.
Andrew Gillum was a rising Florida Democratic star‚ narrowly losing the 2018 governor's election to Ron DeSantis. He was indicted Wednesday on 21 counts of wire fraud‚ conspiracy and false statements. According to the Department of Justice‚ Gillum was indicted along with Sharon Lettman–Hicks‚ his former mayor of Tallahassee‚ for fraudulently raising funds from different entities during 2016-2019. Press release. According to the Justice Department‚ the pair allegedly diverted money to LettmanHicks' company. Gillum was fraudulently paid with payroll. Gillum‚ along with his attorneys‚ made a written statement claiming his innocence. Lettman–Hicks‚ a candidate to a seat in the state House -- did not return calls or texts from NBC News requesting comments. Gillum stated that he has spent 20 of his years in the public sector and continues to fight for people's rights. Each campaign that I have run was done with integrity. This case isn't legal. It is political. My career has been filled with standing up for Floridaans and speaking truth to power. Since I was elected mayor of Tallahassee‚ there has been an accuser on my back. My legal team has my full support and will prove that I am innocent now. Gillum is a father to three children and has been indicted. He was a married father who resigned from public life after being accused of a sex crime involving a South Beach man overdosing. At the time‚ gillum said he was abusing alcohol As he dealt with DeSantis' loss‚ campaign finances records and a leaky criminal subpoena from 2019 revealed that Gillum was also under FBI scrutiny. Gillum was speaking Tuesday with two sources who said that Gillum began phoning his friends frantically to discuss the criminal case after he received word that his indictment would be imminent. Both Gillum's sources declined to comment on the matter as they were not authorized to do so on his behalf. The prosecutors stated that Gillum had surrendered to them at 10:05 a.m.‚ and that the indictment might be unveiled at 1 p.m. ET. According to DOJ‚ he makes his debut at 2 p.m. He's down. He's sad. One source said that he felt beat up. Each of the 19 charges of wire fraud or conspiracy to commit wirefraud carries a maximum of 20 years in prison. Gillum is also facing two other charges for lying to investigators. Each charge carries a maximum five-year sentence. The indictment states that the FBI started to investigate Gillum's alleged scheme in 2016. Gillum was then mayor‚ and agents looking into corruption were directed to Gillum. They allegedly used Gillum's position as mayor as progressive activist‚ and later as top candidate for governor‚ to steal money from various donors‚ fraudulantly pretending that they were performing voter outreach and fighting for local-government rights‚ while he was still running for governor. Gillum's resignation from the Liberal Group People for the American Way early 2017‚ was particularly difficult for him. The indictment stated that he couldn't bear the loss of his $122‚500 per year salary. The indictment states that he then made arrangements for LettmanHicks to receive more money through her communications company‚ P P Communications. He was paid either as an employee‚ or as a contractor. Gillum was under investigation federally for many years. This began with his tenure as Tallahassee Mayor when he received freebies from special interests and lobbyists‚ including tickets to Hamilton in New York and a New York Harbor boat ride. These were provided by an FBI agent pretending to be a corrupt developer working with Southern Pines. Gillum wasn't charged with the scheme but was fined $5‚000 by the state for receiving gifts improperly. According to the indictment‚ Gillum was offered money by one of the FBI undercover agents to pay Gillum. This was on condition that Southern Pines be given favorable consideration at City Hall. Gillum was unaware that an associate and he were speaking to an undercover agent. According to the indictment‚ Gillum later told the FBI in June 2017 that he had stopped contact with Southern Pines. His campaign against DeSantis was ruined by the FBI's investigation into Gillum and his dealings with lobbyists. Gillum repeatedly called Gillum corrupt‚ and he defeated him by less than half a point. Gillum‚ a charismatic speaker who was also the Democratic Party's first Black nominee for Florida gubernatorial office‚ became a popular speaker. He became a CNN commentator and Harvard University lecturer.
Gillum also appeared on Real Time With Bill Maher‚ on HBO. In 2019‚ his political committee was transformed into a voter registration effort. His pledge to sign up 1 million more voters in Florida to turn the tide for Democrats. Gillum had paid more for legal work by the close of the year to Marc Elias (a top Democratic lawyer)‚ who downplayed Gillum's federal subpoena requesting numerous records from Gillum in 2019. Elias said that this was the type of inquiry I have seen campaigns receive after an election has ended. The Tallahassee Democrat at the time. I'm confident that Forward Florida‚ Mayor Gillum and all other parties have followed the law. The facts will prove that. Elias‚ along with his Gillum co-counsel‚ David Oscar Markus (top criminal defense attorney)‚ issued Wednesday a joint statement in which they pledged to clean Gillum's name. Andrew Gillum‚ Image via MediaPunch/IPX via the AP File Today‚ the government did it wrong. This case has clear evidence that will prove Mr. Gillum innocent of any charges. The lawyers stated that they look forward to ending this case and giving Andrew's family some peace of mind. This subpoena was not limited to Gillum's campaign. It sought to obtain information about Gillum’s work as a non-profit worker‚ his connections to wealthy donors‚ and Lettman–Hicks who was Gillum’s top advisor. Lettman–Hicks is a consultant and runs the National Black Justice Coalition‚ which advocates for Black LBGTQ individuals. In 2019‚ he suggested that the federal probe was racially motivated. In response to the subpoena‚ I wrote that I am a PAWN. This was to increase speculation on how an educated and working-class Black man could run a remarkable statewide campaign that would become a national success. Lettman Hicks applied to be a candidate for the state House seat in Florida after Ramon Alexander (the incumbent) resigned over a scandal involving sexting. According to The Tallahassee Democrat‚ she is running as a check against DeSantis who is currently up for reelection. Governor is enjoying unchecked power. It is not healthy to watch as Democracy falls apart and to allow citizens to speak out.