Ron DeSantis’ former Democratic opponent Andrew Gillum is indicted on 21 counts of fraud charges in Tallahassee, then vows to fight ‘political’ charges
- Democrat Andrew Gillum has been indicted on 21 counts of fraud
- Charges are related to his 2018 gubenatorial campaign
- Gillum was defeated in that race by Republican Ron DeSantis
- Feds charge Gillum and co-defendant Sharon Janet Lettman-Hicks with wire fraud and unlawfully soliciting funds
- Gillum denies the charges
A federal grand jury has returned a twenty-one count indictment against Gillum, 42.
The Justice Department charges that Gillum and co-defendant Sharon Janet Lettman-Hicks conspired to commit wire fraud, by unlawfully soliciting funds from various entities and individuals through fraudulent promises.
The indictment also alleges Gillum and Lettman-Hicks used third parties to divert a portion of those funds to a company owned by Lettman-Hicks, who then fraudulently provided the funds, disguised as payroll payments, to Gillum for his personal use.
He and Lettman-Hicks, 53, have been arrested. They both surrendered to the FBI and are scheduled to have their first court appearance at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the U.S. Courthouse in Tallahassee.
Gillum denied any wrongdoing.
‘I have spent the last 20 years of my life in public service and continue to fight for the people,’ he said in a prepared statement. ‘Every campaign I’ve run has been done with integrity. Make no mistake that this case is not legal, it is political.’
Democrat Andrew Gillum has been indicted on multiple federal charges connected to campaign contribution fraud during his 2018 run for governor of Florida
The combined charges could result in 45 years in prison if convicted.
He was serving as mayor of Tallahassee when he ran for govenror in 2018.
He was the first black nominee for governor in Florida’s history but lost the general election to Republican Ron DeSantis, who now serves as governor.
Gillum garned national attention for that race, which saw prominent Democrats like Barack Obama campaign for him.
But he also found himself in the spotlight afterward when he was found in a hotel room with two other men and drug paraphernalia. The married father of three later came out as bisexual and has been to rehab.
Gillum (pictured with wife R. Jai) revealed in 2020 that his downward spiral first began after his close loss to Ron DeSantis in the 2018 Florida Governor’s race
In March 2020, Gillum was found in a hotel room with plastic baggies of suspected crystal meth, empty beer bottles and prescription pills.
He was too ‘inebriated’ to tell cops what went down when they arrived at Miami’s Mondrian Hotel when they arrived.
He was inside room 1107 with two more men, one of them a hunky 30-year-old male escort named Travis Dyson, who was found naked and in the throes of a drug overdose.
A police report says the third man, Aldo Mejias, 56, dialed 911 when fitness freak Dyson began vomiting and collapsed.
He later told officers from the Miami Beach Police Department that he had walked in to find Gillum and Dyson ‘under the influence of an unknown substance’ and Gillum, 40, vomiting in the bathroom.
Gillum later went to rehab.
In September 2020, Gillum came out as bisexual in an interview with Tamron Hall.
‘You didn’t ask the question but I don’t identify as gay. I identify as bisexual. I’ve never shared that publicly before,’ Gillum, once considered a rising star of the Democratic party, said.
He told Hall his downward spiral first began after his close loss to DeSantis in the 2018 Florida Governor’s race, when he began drinking heavily – even putting whiskey in his morning coffee.
He said he has ‘cried every day’ since his sudden fall from grace.