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Former gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum indicted on federal charges

In a statement, his attorneys tell First Coast News' Tampa TV station, 10 Tampa Bay, the government "got it wrong."

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Former Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum has been indicted on federal charges.

Gillum is facing 21 federal charges related to a scheme to seek donations and funnel a portion of them back to him through third parties, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced Wednesday.

Gillum, 42, and co-defendant Janet Lettman-Hicks, 53, face 19 counts of wire fraud. Gillum is also charged with making false statements to the FBI.

The U.S. attorney's office said the pair “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.”

Lettman-Hicks then used her company to fraudulently give money to Gillum disguised as payroll payments, the office said in a press release. 

According to NBC News' Marc Caputo, Gillum surrendered at 10 a.m.

"The government got it wrong today," attorneys Marc Elias and David Oscar Markus wrote in a statement emailed to 10 Tampa Bay. "The evidence in this case is clear and will show that Mr. Gillum is innocent of all charges. We look forward to putting this case to rest and giving Andrew and his family peace of mind once and for all."

It's the latest trouble for Gillum, who narrowly lost to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in a 2018 race that required a recount.

Gillum served as mayor of Tallahassee before running for governor.

Gillum released his own statement, saying he had dedicated the last 20 years of his life to public service and has always run campaigns with integrity.

"Make no mistake that this case is not legal, it is political," Gillum wrote. "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."

During the election cycle in 2018, Gillum was accused of taking a ticket to "Hamilton" from an undercover FBI agent.

Then, in March 2020, Gillum was found intoxicated and unconscious in a Miami Beach hotel room with two men, including one who works as a male escort. CBS News reports Gillum was photographed naked on a bathroom floor. First responders treated at least one of the men for a suspected drug overdose.

The escort later told GQ that he and Gillum had met through Grindr and had more than one paid sexual encounter. The sex worker also told the publication Gillum and he had both used drugs inside the hotel. Gillum ultimately apologized for the incident and denied using methamphetamines.

Two days after the hotel situation, Gillum entered a rehabilitation center and later did a television interview in which he said he's bisexual. 

According to POLITICO, Gillum entered a rehabilitation facility following the incident.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

    

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