Andrew Gillum, the Democrat’s former candidate for Florida governor, has been charged in federal court with 21 felonies relating to his failed gubernatorial campaign. Republican Ron DeSantis defeated Gillum at the polls.
“A federal grand jury has returned a twenty-one count indictment against Andrew Demetric Gillum, 42, and Sharon Janet Lettman-Hicks, 53, both of Tallahassee, Florida,” the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida said in a statement.
Gillum has claimed innocence and described the charges as "political" despite being charged by Biden’s Department of Justice and not the DeSantis administration.
“The Indictment alleges that between 2016 and 2019, defendants Gillum and Lettman-Hicks conspired 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,” the statement from the DOJ reads. “The Indictment further alleges the defendants 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.”
“Both defendants are charged with 19 counts of wire fraud,” it adds. “Gillum is also charged with making false statements to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”
If the former gubernatorial candidate is found guilty, he faces up to five years in prison for making false statements, 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and an additional twenty years in prison for each count of wire fraud.
The indictment against Gillum originates from his failed 2018 campaign against DeSantis who has since become a leading voice in the conservative movement in the United States after he took office as Florida’s governor.
Two years after Gillum’s failed run, the politician was found naked in a hotel room with a male prostitute and suspected bags of methamphetamine. Photographs of his illicit activities circulated online and the case was widely detailed in the media.
“Plastic baggies of suspected crystal meth, empty beer bottles and prescription pills are seen scattered among trash and soiled bedding in the shocking images,” the Daily Mail reported. “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.”