Politics and corruption too often go hand-in-hand, as bribery, fraud, and conspiracy continue to plague our elected officials.
Sometimes, the charges aren’t particularly serious and don’t amount to much in court. But for one former gubernatorial candidate, he’s facing severe accusations and the penalties are extremely high.
In fact, if he’s found guilty, he might have to spend several decades in prison.
Democrat Andrew Gillum ran against current Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in 2018, and lost by around 34,000 votes. That’s a relatively close election and Gillum should’ve gone on to a decent career.
But a couple years later, the report broke from The Daily Mail: he was caught in a South Florida hotel with “baggies of crystal meth, empty Corona bottles and soiled bedding.”
He was also found with a gay escort who had overdosed on meth, so it was a definite scandal from top to bottom. At the time, Gillum apologized for his conduct and said he felt “guilty for the harm” he’d caused.
After that, he entered a rehabilitation facility. However, now he’s facing a very different problem — and one that could send him to jail for a very long time.
Disgraced and failed gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum was indicted and arrested for conspiracy, wire fraud, and making false statements, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.
Gillum and campaign associate Lettman-Hicks are alleged to have ‘committed 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.’
Prosecutors accuse Gillum and Lettman-Hicks of soliciting funds from people for 3 years, “through false and fraudulent promises and representations that the funds would be used for a legitimate purpose.”
After obtaining these funds, Lettman-Hicks is accused of sending the money straight to Gillum “disguised as payroll payments.”
At that point, it seems Gillum just used the money however he pleased. In other words, it’s an allegation of campaign fraud and we’ve heard it before: taking donations or other funds and using them for yourself.
The penalties for all these charges really add up, too.
Currently, the disgraced former Florida candidate is facing a maximum of 5 years in prison for making false statements. But it’s 20 years for wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
For his part, Gillum claims he’s innocent and that the charges are just a “witch hunt.”
In a statement following the indictment, the Florida politician said “every campaign I’ve run has been done with integrity” and he has “full confidence” that he’ll be proven not guilty of these crimes.
Even if he does get off, though, it seems likely that his political career might be over.
Or at the very least, he can expect to lose some supporters over this mess, which would have a direct impact on his future aspirations.
- Former Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum has been arrested and indicted.
- He’s charged with making false statements, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
- The charges come with up to 20 years in prison, though Gillum claims he’s innocent.