What to know about the Gillum corruption trial in Florida

Apr 18, 2023, 8:32 AM

FILE - Andrew Gillum, Democratic candidate for Florida governor, speaks at a news conference in Tal...

FILE - Andrew Gillum, Democratic candidate for Florida governor, speaks at a news conference in Tallahassee, Fla., Nov. 10, 2018. The former Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate is on trial in federal court on charges of corruption and lying to the FBI, facing a potentially long prison sentence if convicted of multiple wire fraud counts and a conspiracy charge. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon, File)

(AP Photo/Steve Cannon, File)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Former Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum is on trial in federal court on charges of corruption and lying to the FBI, facing a potentially long prison sentence if convicted of multiple wire fraud counts and conspiracy.

Gillum, the former mayor of Tallahassee, came within less than a percentage point of being elected the first Black governor of Florida, losing by fewer than 34,000 votes to Republican Ron DeSantis in 2018.


Gillum, 43, is accused of accepting about $57,000 in political contributions that were secretly funneled through a co-defendant’s company to his personal accounts. The co-defendant is Sharon Lettman-Hicks, a longtime political adviser to Gillum and former executive with the People for the American Way Foundation, a progressive group. She ran unsuccessfully in 2022 for the state House.

Prosecutors also say Gillum lied about his interactions with undercover FBI agents posing as developers who paid for a 2016 trip he and his brother took to New York, which included a ticket to the hit Broadway show “Hamilton.” Gillum is accused of falsely telling the FBI later that he never received anything from these undercover “developers” and that his brother provided the Broadway ticket.

Gillum and Lettman-Hicks have pleaded not guilty. Gillum said after he was indicted that he had “a target on my back” since he was the state capital’s mayor, and predicted he will be vindicated.


In 2020, Gillum was found in a Miami Beach hotel room with a man who had apparently overdosed on drugs. Police said Gillum himself was too inebriated to talk about what happened.

No one was ever charged with any crime involving the incident, but Gillum withdrew from public life for months afterward while seeking treatment for alcohol abuse and depression. He told a television interviewer some months later that he had to come to grips with what he had done.

“So much of my recovery has been about trying to get over shame,” Gillum said on the Tamron Hall talk show in September 2020.


Each of the 17 counts of wire fraud and the wire fraud conspiracy count in the Gillum indictment carries a maximum of 20 years behind bars. The charge of lying to the FBI has a five-year maximum sentence.

Although that technically adds up to a possible prison term of 365 years, if Gillum is convicted it’s more likely the multiple sentences would be served concurrently rather than consecutively under federal sentencing guidelines.

And with no prior convictions, generally those guidelines would favor a more minimal prison sentence for Gillum.


U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor is presiding over the case in Tallahassee federal court. He was appointed in 2018 by then-President Donald Trump.

Previously, Winsor was Florida’s solicitor general, overseeing civil and criminal appellate work for the state. His boss then was former Attorney General Pam Bondi, a Republican.

Gillum argued that the indictment was politically motivated, but Winsor refused last year to dismiss it, and ruled that Gillum and Lettman-Hicks had to be tried together because their actions are so closely intertwined.

United States News

Protestors gather in the atrium of Atlanta City Hall to protest the proposed police training center...

Associated Press

Atlanta project decried as ‘Cop City’ gets funding approval from City Council

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta City Council on Tuesday approved funding for the construction of a proposed police and firefighter training center, rejecting the pleas of hundreds of activists who packed City Hall and spoke for hours in fierce opposition to the project they decry as “Cop City.” The 11-4 vote is a significant victory for […]

4 hours ago

President Joe Biden listens as he meets with Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen in the Oval...

Associated Press

White House website highlights infrastructure as Biden pushes policy wins

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House on Tuesday is launching a website to map and track tens of thousands of manufacturing investments, an effort by the administration to show the positive impact of its policies on the U.S. economy to a skeptical public. The site, Invest.gov, documents roughly 32,000 infrastructure projects and more than $470 […]

4 hours ago

FILE - Nevada Gov.-elect Joe Lombardo speaks with supporters at Rancho High School in Las Vegas, Mo...

Associated Press

Oakland Athletics move to Las Vegas in flux as Nevada Legislature adjourns

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — A plan to help build a stadium for the Oakland Athletics in Las Vegas is in flux after Nevada lawmakers adjourned their four-month legislative session. The future of the contentious bill is now uncertain after the Democratic-controlled Legislature did not advance it before the midnight deadline as Monday turned to […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

California investigating whether DeSantis involved in flying asylum-seekers from Texas to Sacramento

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Officials were investigating Tuesday whether Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis was behind a flight that picked up asylum-seekers on the Texas border and flew them — apparently without their knowledge — to California’s capital, even as faith-based groups scrambled to find housing and food for them. About 20 people ranging in age […]

1 day ago

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, center, poses for a selfie after a town hall style meeting a...

Associated Press

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie set to launch 2024 presidential bid at New Hampshire town hall

NEW YORK (AP) — Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is set to launch his bid for the Republican nomination for president at a town hall in New Hampshire on Tuesday evening. The campaign will be the second for Christie, who lost to Trump in 2016 and went on to become a close on-and-off adviser […]

1 day ago

This booking photo provided by the Missouri Department of Corrections shows Michael Tisius. Tisius ...

Associated Press

Missouri man facing execution for killing 2 jailers in failed bid to help inmate escape in 2000

A man who shot and killed two rural Missouri jailers nearly 23 years ago during a failed bid to help an inmate escape is set to be executed Tuesday evening. for killing Leon Egley and Jason Acton at the small Randolph County Jail on June 22, 2000. Tisius’ lawyers have urged the U.S. Supreme Court […]

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles


OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

5 mental health myths you didn’t know were made up

Helping individuals understand mental health diagnoses like obsessive compulsive spectrum disorder or generalized anxiety disorder isn’t always an easy undertaking. After all, our society tends to spread misconceptions about mental health like wildfire. This is why being mindful about how we talk about mental health is so important. We can either perpetuate misinformation about already […]

(Desert Institute for Spine Care in Arizona Photo)...

Desert Institute for Spine Care in Arizona

5 common causes for chronic neck pain

Neck pain can debilitate one’s daily routine, yet 80% of people experience it in their lives and 20%-50% deal with it annually.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Company looking for oldest air conditioner and wants to reward homeowner with new one

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

What to know about the Gillum corruption trial in Florida