Former Mayor, candidate for governor Andrew Gillum and adviser arrested on federal prices

Andrew Gillumformer Tallahassee mayor and 2018 Democratic nominee for Florida governor, and a longtime adviser, Sharon Lettman-Hicks, had been arrested at this time on federal campaign-related prices.

The U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace for the Northern District of Florida confirmed the fees in an announcement. Gillum, 42, and Lettman-Hicks, 53, had been each named in a 21-count indictment.

The indictment alleges that between 2016 and 2019, Gillum and Lettman-Hicks conspired to commit wire fraud by unlawfully soliciting and acquiring funds from numerous entities and people “via false and fraudulent guarantees and representations that the funds can be used for a respectable function,” the federal government mentioned.

Gillum and Lettman-Hicks each surrendered to the FBI. They’re scheduled to have their first courtroom look at 2 pm at this time on the U.S. Courthouse in Tallahassee.

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Gillum denied any wrongdoing in a press release despatched via his marketing campaign.

“I’ve spent the final 20 years of my life in public service and proceed to struggle for the folks,” Gillum mentioned in a ready assertion. “Each marketing campaign I’ve run has been executed with integrity. Make no mistake that this case will not be authorized, it’s political.”

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Particulars of the fees weren’t instantly accessible. In the event that they had been indicted by a federal grand jury, it is attainable paperwork detailing the fees will likely be unsealed quickly.

Gillum went on to say, “All through my profession I’ve all the time stood up for the folks of Florida and have spoken reality to energy. There’s been a goal on my again ever since I used to be the mayor of Tallahassee. They discovered nothing then, and I’ve full confidence that my authorized staff will show my innocence now. “

The earlier brush with the feds: Timeline to bother: How Andrew Gillum received blended up in an FBI probe and ethics inquiry

Marc Elias and David Oscar Markus, two of his legal professionals, issued a press release saying Gillum can be cleared of the allegations.

“The federal government received it flawed at this time,” the legal professionals mentioned. “The proof on this case is obvious and can present that Mr. Gillum is harmless of all prices. We sit up for placing this case to relaxation and giving Andrew and his household peace of thoughts as soon as and for all.”

Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum finishing his qualification paperwork to compete on the Democratic ticket for governor. [Photo: Andrew Salinero/Democrat]

Gillum has been underneath FBI scrutiny for years as chronicled by the Tallahassee Democrat. The bureau investigated Gillum as a part of its “Operation Capital Forex” probe into public corruption at Tallahassee Metropolis Corridor.

The investigation, which started in 2015, led to the indictments of former Mayor Scott Maddox, his longtime aide Paige Carter-Smith and rich businessman John “JT” Burnette on bribery-related prices. All three had been sentenced final yr to federal jail time.

The identical undercover brokers who investigated Maddox and his co-conspirators additionally frolicked with Gillum throughout a 2016 journey to New York Metropolis. Gillum and others joined the FBI brokers for a efficiency of “Hamilton” and a elaborate boat trip out to the Statue of Liberty.

These interactions led to state ethics prices and a $ 5,000 tremendous towards Gillum, who pleaded responsible to keep away from the general public spectacle of an ethics trial. Information of the FBI investigation and its intersections with Gillum plagued him throughout his 2018 marketing campaign for the Florida governor, which he narrowly misplaced to the Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Sharon Lettman-Hicks

Sharon Lettman-Hicks

In 2019, each Gillum and Lettman-Hicks seemed to be underneath the cloud of an FBI investigation involving his marketing campaign for governor. A federal grand jury in Tallahassee issued a minimum of one subpoena demanding information involving his gubernatorial marketing campaign and his political motion committee, Ahead Florida.

Lettman-Hicks, who certified final week to run for the Florida Home District 8 seat, was requested about that investigation in a current interview with the Democrat.

“Nothing got here of it,” she mentioned.

Verify again with Tallahassee.com for extra on this breaking information story.

Contact Jeff Burlew at jburlew@tallahassee.com or observe @JeffBurlew on Twitter.

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This text initially appeared on the Tallahassee Democrat: Andrew Gillum denies wrongdoing amid federal prices

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