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Andrew Gillum, the former mayor of Tallahassee, Fla., was well on his way to becoming a true superstar of the Democratic Party. After running into some legal issues that heavily impacted his rise in politics, Gillum is now facing a series of charges, including conspiracy, wire fraud, and false statements.
On Wednesday (June 22), the Justice Department issued a statement by way of the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Florida laying out the charges that Gillum, 42, and his associate, Sharon Janet Lettman-Hicks, 53, currently face.
The charges state that between a period of time between 2016 and 2019, Gillum and Lettman-Hicks, both of Tallahassee, allegedly gave false promises to a variety of individuals and entities that the funds they obtained would be used for a greater purpose. The indictment also reveals that the funds were partially siphoned to a company that Lettman-Hicks owned who then allegedly paid Gillum under the guise of payroll checks. The pair both face 19 counts of wire fraud.
The charges were heard on the same day of the statement was released inside the United States Courthouse in Tallahassee. Gillum and Lettman-Hicks face a maximum of 20 years each for the Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud and Wire Fraud charges, and 5 years for the Making False Statements charge.
In a statement, Gillum declared his innocence.
“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.”
Lettman-Hicks, who is running for an open House seat, declined comment.