Former Politician Andrew Gillum Indicted On Conspiracy And Wire Fraud

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Former Democratic governor nominee and ex-Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum has been federally indicted on 21 counts including conspiracy and wire fraud. According to prosecutors, the 42-year-old ex-politician is being accused of funneling donations through third parties and then writing the funds back to himself for his own personal leisure.

On top of the indictments Gillum is already facing, he has also been charged with falsifying statements to the Federal Bureau Investigations claiming he never received nor requested donations from two posing developers, that he had no idea were undercover FBI agents. The informants offered gifts and money to Gillum in exchange for support for projects.

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According to reports, the undercover officers were asked to donate $100,000 to his campaign and also paid for Gillum’s hotel, food and drink, a boat ride, and a ticket to see Hamilton on Broadway, while visiting the politician in New York. Gillum later denied ever receiving funds or gifts from the posing developers, as well as claimed to have stopped all communication with them.

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum gestures as he debates Republican Ron DeSantis, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, at Broward College in Davie, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, Pool)
Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum gestures as he debates Republican Ron DeSantis, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, at Broward College in Davie, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, Pool)

If things weren’t looking bad for Gillum already, his name has been connected to an accomplice. Sharon Janet Lettman-Hicks, 53, and owner of a communications company, is being named as a codefendant on the wire fraud charges. Hicks is being accused of transmitting money to Gillum through paychecks, according to U.S. Attorney Jason R. Coody. Prosecutors are accusing the duo of, “conspiring to commit wire fraud, by unlawfully soliciting and obtaining funds from various entities and individuals through false and fraudulent promises and representations that the funds would be used for a legitimate purpose.”

Both Gillum and Hicks have denied allegations against them.

In a statement released to the public, Gillum included that his case is, “not legal, but political.” He continued, “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.”

Another unnamed party in the indictment also claimed to have donated $250,000 to Gillum’s campaign, and only $100,000 of it was actually used for the cause. Again, the two stated that the remainder of the donation had gone towards voter education programs, although the service was never provided. In fact, the remainder of $150,000 went towards Hicks’ company. She pocketed some of the funds and filtered the rest back to Gillum in various payments ranging from nearly $3,600 up to $10,000 each.

Gillum was once viewed as a “breath of fresh air” in the Democratic Party, until a few life events intoxicated his successes. In 2018, Gillum was hired as a CNN analyst after proving himself as a charismatic politician in his governor-run for Tallahassee. After winning over the hearts of Democratic activists, less than two years later, Gillum was found in a hotel intoxicated and unconscious with two other parties, including one who was a male escort. Gillum soon entered a rehabilitation center, and later revealed his bisexuality in a television interview.

The next trial date is set for August 16th as Gillum and Hicks are both released on bail.

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