Former gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum charged with wire fraud, conspiracy

Published: June 22, 2022 12:03 PM EDT
Updated: June 22, 2022 1:50 PM EDT
Andrew Gillum
FILE - In this Nov. 10, 2018 file photo, Andrew Gillum, then-Democratic candidate for governor, speaks at a news conference in Tallahassee, Fla. Guillum told a television interviewer, Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, that he is bisexual. Gillum was responding to rumors swirling since March when he was found intoxicated in a hotel room with two men, including one who works as a male escort. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon, File)

Former Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum has been indicted for conspiracy, wire fraud and making false statements.

United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida announced the indictment against the former mayor of Tallahassee and Sharon Janet Lettman-Hicks, 53, an associate of Gillum’s.

The 21-count indictment alleges that 42-year-old Gillum and Lettman-Hicks were paid money in exchange for “false and fraudulent promises and representations that the funds would be used for a legitimate purpose.”

The indictment also states the two diverted the payments to a company owned by Lettman-Hicks who then gave then paid the money to Gillum as an employee of the company.

Gillum is also charged with making false statements to the FBI, according to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida.

Gillum is scheduled to appear in court at 2 p.m.

The charges carry a combined prison sentence of up to 45 years if found guilty.

In a statement, Gillum said this was a political move.

“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. Make no mistake that this case is not legal, it is political,” Gillum said. “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.”

His attorneys released a statement saying the government got it wrong.

“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,” said Marc Elias, with the Elias Law Group and David Oscar Markus of Markus/Moss, who are representing Gillum.

This is not the first time Gillum has made headlines after losing to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

In 2020, Gillum was found inebriated in a Miami hotel room with a man who was suffering a medical event while under the influence of unknown substances.

In 2019, the Florida Commission on Ethics found probable cause that Gillum violated state ethics laws by accepting gifts, including tickets to Hamilton, and failing to report them. He was asked to pay a $5,000 fee.