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Andrew Gillum charged with conspiracy, wire fraud, and making false statements

Andrew Gillum  (correct size)
Posted at 11:02 AM, Jun 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-23 17:31:36-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.  — Former Tallahassee Mayor and Gubernatorial Candidate Andrew Gillum and Sharon Janet Lettman-Hicks have been indicted on twenty-one counts by a federal grand jury.

The announcement came Wednesday from United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida Jason R. Coody.

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The indictment alleges that between 2016 and 2019, defendants Gillum and Lettman-Hicks 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.

The indictment further alleges the defendants used third parties to divert a portion of those funds to P&P Communications, a company owned by Lettman-Hicks, who then fraudulently provided the funds, disguised as payroll payments, to Gillum for his personal use.

Both defendants are charged with 19 counts of wire fraud. Gillum is also charged with making false statements to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Documents state that the maximum terms of imprisonment for making false statements is five years. The maximum for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud are each 20 years.

Gillum released the following statement regarding the charges:

"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. 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”.

Sharon Lettman-Hicks, who qualified to run for Florida House District 8 seat, also released a statement:

“Less than seven days later (after qualifying to run for the Florida House), I was handcuffed at the Tallahassee FBI office, driven to the federal courthouse with three agents, fingerprinted by U.S. Marshals, and paraded into a federal courthouse to have all my dignity challenged while being indicted on 20 counts from a nearly four-year-old politically motivated investigation. I find it stunning that these charges have come to light just days after I became a viable candidate, yet this is the America that so many, whom I had hoped to represent, deal with day in and day out in their communities."

The initial appearance is scheduled for Wednesday, June 22, 2022, at 2:00 pm, at the United States Courthouse in Tallahassee in the Magistrate Judge’s Courtroom on the main floor, according to the Northern District of Florida U.S. Attorney's Office.