In breaking news, former Tallahassee Mayor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum has been charged in federal court with 21 felony counts related to his failed 2018 campaign against Republican Ron DeSantis.
United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida said in a statement: “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.”
Gillum pleaded innocent and claimed the charges were politically motivated.
The indictment profiles Gillum’s involvement with drugs and various financial crimes. It also notes the married Gillum was found in a hotel room with a male escort and suspected baggies of crystal meth.
The Daily Mail reported:
Plastic baggies of suspected crystal meth, empty beer bottles and prescription pills are seen scattered among trash and soiled bedding in the shocking images. He was inside room 1107 with two more men, one of them a hunky 30-year-old male escort named Travis Dyson, who was found naked and in the throes of a drug overdose.”
Excerpts from the Northern District of Florida U.S. Attorney’s office read:
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 statement adds:
The indictment further alleges the defendants used third parties to divert a portion of those funds to 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, the statement added.
Gillum could serve up to five years in prison for making false statements, 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and 20 years in prison per charge for wire fraud if found guilty.
NBC News political correspondent Marc Caputo tweeted that Gillum surrendered to authorities ahead of the announcement of the indictment.
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