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Gillum, Lettman-Hicks, Indicted on 19 Counts of Wire Fraud

Gillum - Lettman-Hicks.jpg
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Former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Demetric Gillum and National Black Justice Coalition CEO and Board Chair Sharon Janet Lettman-Hicks

Tallahassee - Thursday June 22, 2022: A federal grand jury has returned a twenty-one count indictment against former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Demetric Gillum and National Black Justice Coalition CEO and Board Chair Sharon Janet Lettman-Hicks.

Both defendants are charged with 19 counts of wire fraud. Gillum is also charged with two additional counts of making false statements to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to a news release issued by the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, Jason R. Coody.

The indictment alleges that between 2016 and 2019, Gillum and Lettman-Hicks conspired to commit wire fraud, by unlawfully soliciting and obtaining funds from various entities by making false promises that the funds would be used for a legitimate purpose.

The indictment also alleges Gillum and Lettman-Hicks 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.

The maximum terms of imprisonment for the offenses they're charged with are:

  • 5 years:  Making False Statements
  • 20 years: Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud
  • 20 years: Wire Fraud

The 42 year old Gillum ran for Governor in 2018 against Ron DeSantis and lost. In March 2020, Gillum dropped out of public life after he was found intoxicated and unconscious in a hotel room with two men, including one who worked as a male escort. The 53 year old Lettman-Hicks is a candidate for the Florida State House of Representatives this year.
Gillum's attorneys issued the following statement: "The government got it wrong today. 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." Lettman-Hicks has not yet issued a public statement.

READ the news release issued by the U.S. Attorney's office in FULL below:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Former Tallahassee Mayor And Gubernatorial Candidate And Associate Charged With Conspiracy, Wire Fraud, And Making False Statements

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – 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. The indictment was announced by Jason R. Coody, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

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 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 initial appearance is scheduled for Wednesday, June 22, 2022, at 2:00 pm, at the United States Courthouse in Tallahassee in the Magistrate Judge’s Courtroom on the main floor.

The maximum terms of imprisonment for the offenses are as follows:

  • 5 years:  Making False Statements
  • 20 years: Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud
  • 20 years: Wire Fraud

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Stephen M. Kunz and Andrew J. Grogan.

An indictment is merely an allegation by a grand jury that a defendant has committed a violation of federal criminal law and is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website.

For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.