Andrew Gillum, the Democratic Candidate for Governor in Florida, Facing 25 Years in Prison

Andrew Gillum, the former Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Florida was just indicted by a federal grand jury. Sharon Lettman-Hicks, the National Black Justice Coalition chief executive officer, was indicted with him.

They both are being charged with making false statements, wire fraud, and conspiracy

Altogether, there are 21 counts in the indictment that was filed on June 7. These charges allege that Gillum and Lettman-Hicks conspired to commit wire fraud and they received money from “various entities” and people through “false and fraudulent promises” between 2016 and 2019. This is according to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida.

The indictment says that money was allegedly diverted to a company that is owned by Lettman-Hicks by third parties. It was disguised as payments to Gillum for personal matters. 

Both defendants are also charged with 19 counts of wire fraud, according to a release from the attorney’s office. Gillum is also facing charges of making false testimony to the FBI in 2017. 

These charges stem from a corruption investigation that was done when he was Mayor of Tallahassee and then during his race for the governor’s office. He was running against the present governor, Ron DeSantis. 

The FBI arrested both of them this week and they are scheduled to appear in federal court at the United States Courthouse in Tallahassee in the Magistrate’s Judge’s Courtroom, but he is proclaiming his innocence of the charges against him. He wrote in a statement that the case against him was political, according to WFSU News.

Gillum Proclaims Innocence

“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.

He also noted that throughout his career he stood for the people of Florida and he has spoken: “truth to power.” He believes there has been a “target on his back” ever since he served as mayor. 

The charges Gillum and Lettman-Hicks face could lead to up to a 20-year prison sentence. Gillum may also face an extra five years for the charge of making false statements. 

This isn’t the first courtroom battle for Gillum who is married with three children. In March of 2020, he was discovered drunk inside a Miami Beach hotel room with a gay porn star and was suspected of being high on crystal meth at the time. 

There may be some more skeletons in Gillum’s closet as the case moves forward.