Andrew Gillum, DeSantis's 2018 Rival, is Charged With Conspiracy and Fraud - The ny instances

MIAMI — Andrew Gillum, the Democrat who misplaced the 2018 Florida governor's race to Ron DeSantis, surrendered to federal authorities in Tallahassee on Wednesday after he and a detailed associate were charged with conspiracy and 19 counts of fraud over how they raised and used funds when he became mayor of Tallahassee and a candidate for governor.

Mr. Gillum, 42, become additionally charged with making false statements to the F.B.I.

He pleaded no longer guilty in a courtroom appearance on Wednesday afternoon. Mr. Gillum, dressed in a navy suit with a dismal tie and face masks, was cuffed around his wrists and ankles, with a series round his waist. internal the court docket had been some of his friends and a bunch of news newshounds. He left the courthouse after his unlock and gave no comment to the cameras and microphones ready backyard.

The arrest is the newest detour from Mr. Gillum's once-ascendant profession. He got here within 32,000 votes of the governorship — which would have made him Florida's first Black governor and a future White residence hopeful — most effective to lose his political direction and face personal struggles. In 2020, the police found him in a Miami seashore resort room where a different man became suffering from a likely drug overdose.

The prices appear to stem from a federal investigation into Tallahassee city hall that begun in 2015 and concerned undercover F.B.I. agents posing as builders. Revelations from the investigation, including that Mr. Gillum had socialized with the undercover agents in manhattan, the place they took a ship journey to the Statue of Liberty and noticed the hit Broadway musical "Hamilton," were an issue in the 2018 campaign. Mr. DeSantis, a Republican, mentioned at the time that Mr. Gillum could not be relied on to run the state .

Mr. Gillum, who didn't divulge the gifts at the time as required via state law, paid a $5,000 Florida ethics first-rate in 2019.

The 21-count number indictment in opposition t Mr. Gillum shows that a grand jury filed the fees towards him on June 7. additionally charged was Sharon Lettman-Hicks, 53, a confidante of Mr. Gillum's considering the fact that he became in college. in keeping with the indictment, she used her communications company to conceal fraudulent funds to Mr. Gillum as part of her payroll.

In an announcement, Mr. Gillum mentioned he had run all of his political campaigns "with integrity."

"Make no mistake that this case is not criminal, it is political," he noted. "There's been a target on my returned ever seeing that i was the mayor of Tallahassee. They found nothing then, and that i have full self assurance that my felony team will prove my innocence now."

Ms. Lettman-Hicks, who's running as a Democrat for a State apartment seat in Tallahassee, was in a wheelchair when she regarded in court docket on Wednesday and pleaded not guilty. She declined to comment.

The indictment covers events involving Mr. Gillum and Ms. Lettman-Hicks from 2016 to 2019. The false statements can charge in opposition t Mr. Gillum is concerning his interactions with the undercover agents.

in accordance with the indictment, beginning in 2016, Mr. Gillum and two unnamed pals solicited campaign contributions from the undercover brokers for Mr. Gillum's newly formed ahead Florida political motion committee. To preserve the brokers' names private, the associates promised to funnel the contributions in alternative ways, including through Ms. Lettman-Hicks's business, P&P Communications. In alternate, they have be en promised "unencumbered govt contracts," based on one of the crucial unnamed pals.

Mr. Gillum advised one of the vital undercover brokers that he "should separate in his intellect the crusade contributions and the Tallahassee tasks," the indictment says, adding that Mr. Gillum additionally "indicated he regarded favorably on" the undercover agent's proposed development tasks.

The indictment says that when Mr. Gillum voluntarily spoke to F.B.I. agents in 2017, he "falsely represented" that the undercover agents posing as developers not ever provided him anything and that he had stopped communicating with them after they tried to link their contributions to assist for competencies Tallahassee initiatives.

The fraud and conspiracy costs are related to Mr. Gillum's dealings with Ms. Lettman-Hicks regarding P&P Communications and Mr. Gillum's campaign.

In 2017, when he grew to become a candidate for governor, Mr. Gillum resigned from his place with individuals for the American method, a liberal advocacy community whose Tallahassee workplace become leased from Ms. Lettman-Hicks. Mr. Gillum misplaced his annual $122,500 income, and Ms. Lettman-Hicks misplaced $three,000 in month-to-month rent. Mr. Gillum changed into additionally paid about $70,500 a year as mayor, a position he held from 2014 to 2018.

Mr. Gillum then became an worker of P&P Communications, the place he became given a month-to-month earnings of $10,000. in line with the indictment, hiring Mr. Gillum became "only a canopy used to provide him money that he misplaced" after his resignation from people for the American way.

When Mr. Gillum and Ms. Lettman-Hicks solicited $50,000 in supply funding from two unnamed corporations, the cash was supposed for use for the camp aign to guard local options, an effort with the aid of Mr. Gillum to battle state efforts to pre-empt local governments' vigor. instead, according to the indictment, that cash finally went to P&P Communications to pay Mr. Gillum.

In 2018, the indictment says, Mr. Gillum and Ms. Lettman-Hicks defrauded an unnamed crusade donor who had given $250,000 supposed for Mr. Gillum's crusade. as an alternative, $one hundred fifty,000 of that become diverted to Mr. Gillum's political action committee and to P&P Communications.

in line with the indictment, in November 2018, $one hundred thirty,000 from the crusade changed into speculated to go to "get out the vote" efforts. instead, $60,000 went to P&P Communications and became used in part to pay Mr. Gillum $20,000 in "bonus" funds from Nov. 20 to 29, 2018.

at last, it became listed falsely in Mr. Gillum's crusade f inance file as a compensation for "Get Out the Vote Canvassing."

Alexandra Glorioso contributed reporting from Tallahassee.

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