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Failed Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum indicted on federal fraud charges

Andrew Gillum
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum listens as he meets with residents, Monday, Aug. 13, 2018, in the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami. Gillum spoke with residents about gun violence and quality of life in this inner city neighborhood. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Democrat Andrew Gillum, who narrowly lost to Ron DeSantis in the 2018 Florida gubernatorial race, is in trouble with the law again.

Gillum was indicted on conspiracy charges, making false statements to the FBI, and 19 counts of wire fraud Wednesday, according to the Department of Justice.

Gillum claims the case is politically motivated and didn’t comment on the accusation that he acted in concert with associate Sharon Janet Lettman-Hicks to solicit funds using false representations and promises.

This latest legal trouble could be a new low for Gillem who withdrew from politics and his position as a paid CNN commentator after a 2020 sex scandal that unfolded in a South Beach hotel room.
The former Tallahassee mayor was found inebriated and in the company of a reputed male escort who had overdosed. Several small baggies of suspected meth were found in the room, according to Miami Beach police.
Gillum told the press that he turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with his loss to DeSantis.
A leaked criminal subpoena in 2019 revealed that Gillum was also under an FBI investigation for campaign finance violations.
In addition, when he was Tallahassee mayor, Gillum was investigated by the FBI for accepting freebies from lobbyists and special interests. He accepted a free New York Harbor boat ride and tickets to the musical “Hamilton” that were supplied to him by an undercover FBI agent posing as corrupt developer.
Gillum was not criminally charged in that scheme, but he agreed to pay a $5,000 state ethics fine for improperly accepting gifts.

DeSantis referred to The FBI investigation and repeatedly described Gillum as “corrupt” dooming his 2018 campaign. DeSantis and defeated the Democrat by less than half a percentage point.