Andrew Gillum indicted on wire fraud charges
Andrew Gillum, who ran for Florida governor in 2018 as a Democrat against current Gov. Ron DeSantis, was indicted Wednesday on 21 counts connected to campaign wire fraud.
The big picture: The indictment alleges Gillum and co-defendant Sharon Lettman-Hicks conspired to commit wire fraud in connection with a scheme to divert donations back to Gillum for personal use, per a Justice Department press release.
Details: Their alleged efforts, which took place between 2016 and 2019, included diverting some funds the pair solicited to a company owned by Lettman-Hicks via third parties and channeling them in the form of payroll payments to Gillum.
- Gillum and Lettman-Hicks have been charged with 19 counts of wire fraud, while Gillum has also been charged with making false statements to the FBI.
- The defendants face a maximum of 20 years in prison for charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 20 years for wire fraud and five years for making false statements.
Driving the news: Gillum was arrested by the FBI in Tallahassee, Florida, on Wednesday morning. Lettman-Hicks, who is a longtime adviser to Gillum, agreed to surrender herself to the bureau, according to court documents.
What they're saying: "Every campaign I've run has been done with integrity. Make no mistake that this case is not legal, it is political," Gillum said in a statement Wednesday.
- "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," he added.
- "The government got it wrong today. The evidence in this case is clear and will show that Mr. Gillum is innocent of all charges," Gillum's lawyers, Marc Elias and David Markus, said in the statement.
- "We look forward to putting this case to rest and giving Andrew and his family peace of mind once and for all," they added.
What to watch: Gillum and Lettman-Hicks are scheduled to appear in court in Tallahassee on Wednesday afternoon.