June 22, 2022 Updated 3:30 P.M. ET
TALLAHASSEE (FLV) – Wednesday, former Democrat candidate for Governor Andrew Gillum was indicted by a U.S. government federal grand jury on 21 counts for conspiracy, wire fraud, and making false statements, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a press release.
“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 indictment was announced by Jason R. Coody, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida,” they said.
The DOJ says that Gillum conspired to commit wire fraud by using fraudulently-provided money “disguised as payroll payments” for his personal use. 19 of the 21 counts are wire fraud.
It is alleged that from 2016 to 2019, Gillum and Sharon Janet Lettman-Hicks conspired to commit wire fraud by “unlawfully soliciting and obtaining funds from various entities and individuals through false and fraudulent promises.”
Making false statements has a maximum term of 5 years, conspiracy to commit wire fraud has 20, and wire fraud has 20.
In response to the indictment, Republican National Committee spokeswoman Julia Friedland told Florida’s Voice that “Floridians made the right decision in 2018 and will do so again in 2022 by re-electing Governor DeSantis.”
NBC reporter Marc Caputo reported Wednesday morning that Andrew Gillum told associates he “expects to be indicted in federal court as early as today for alleged fraud tied to his campaign.”
Gillum lost to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis by only approximately 30,000 votes, or 0.4% of the vote.
“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.”
According to NBC, sources say Gillum “frantically” phoned friends about the case being brought against him.
During the 2018 election, DeSantis went after Gillum for corruption accusations and rumored investigations.
In an interview with FOX News in 2018, DeSantis blasted Gillum for being under investigation for corruption: “Of course he is, and of course he has violated Florida law by accepting those gifts, not just that, but this luxury vacation to Costa Rica … he turned around and gave the lobbyist $2 million in city money to build a restaurant, that is what local corruption looks like.”
Christina Pushaw, DeSantis’ press secretary, said that the new indictment shows that DeSantis “saved Florida.”
“Your vote matters.”
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