Governor Candidate Charged with Fraud
The indictment alleges that between 2016 and 2019, Gillum and Sharon Letterman-Hicks, his longtime adviser, “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.”
Gillum and Letterman-Hicks are also accused of using “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,” the DOJ said.
While both defendants are charged with 19 counts of wire fraud, Gillum also faces a charge of making false statements to the FBI.
Wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years, and the maximum term of imprisonment for making false statements is five years.
Gillum, a former Tallahassee mayor, proclaimed his innocence in a statement to NBC News.
“I have spent the last 20 years of my life in public service and continue to fight for the people,” Gillum said.
“Every campaign I’ve run has been done with integrity. Make no mistake that this case is not legal, it is political. 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.”