Former mayor and Democratic candidate for governor Andrew Gillum is set to go on trial today, April 17, in Tallahassee, Florida.
Last year, a federal grand jury indicted Gillum and his political adviser and mentor, Sharon Janet Lettman-Hicks, for lying to FBI agents and defrauding campaign donors, Yahoo! News reports.
In an updated indictment on Tuesday, the grand jury added two counts of wire fraud against Gillum, 43, and Lettman-Hicks, 54.
The jury trial is expected to last three weeks in federal court.
Federal prosecutors accuse Gillum of funneling $60,000 in campaign contributions through Lettman-Hicks’ communications company, and then depositing the money into bank accounts controlled by Gillum.
The day after he lost the 2018 gubernatorial race in Florida, Gillum emailed his campaign staff and said he was assigning Lettman-Hicks to oversee the campaign budgets.
Lettman-Hicks’ company, P&P Communications then made four $5,000 transfers, called “bonuses,” to Gillum’s personal account.
The indictment alleges that nearly $57,000 was illegally deposited into Gillum’s personal bank account for his own use.
Gillum is also charged with lying to FBI agents in 2017, when he denied receiving gifts from “developers.”
Gillum was hand-chosen by former President Barack Obama to make a future run for the White House.
The married father-of-three’s fall from grace accelerated in 2020, when Miami Beach police found him naked on the floor of a South Beach hotel room with a naked man who appeared to have overdosed on drugs.
The man was later identified as a registered nurse who provides discreet male escort services to high-profile gay men as a side hustle.
Gillum faces 20 years in prison if convicted of the 17 counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Gillum has denied the charges against him.
“This is our chance to show Andrew’s innocence, and we’re looking forward to it,” his attorney, David O. Markus, said in a statement.