JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – State Rep. Reggie Fullwood, D-Jacksonville, pleaded not guilty in federal court Friday afternoon to 10 counts of wire fraud and four counts of failure to file federal income tax returns.
U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley III announced Friday morning Fullwood's indictment on 10 counts of wire fraud and four counts of failure to file federal income tax returns.
According to the indictment, while Fullwood was seeking election to the Florida House of Representatives, and during subsequent re-election campaigns, he made numerous electronic funds transfers from his campaign bank account and a company owned by Fullwood, Rhino Harbor LLC.
Prosecutors said Fullwood used that money, about $65,000 in financial contributions, for personal expenditures, including at restaurants, grocery stores, retail stores, jewelry stores, florists, gas stations and liquor stores. The indictment also alleges that in order to conceal his fraudulent embezzlement of campaign funds, Fullwood submitted false and fraudulent campaign expenditure reports to the state of Florida, which included inflated and/or nonexistent campaign expenses.
"It was further part of the scheme and artifice to defraud that Fullwood would use funds he had unlawfully obtained from the Reggie Fullwood Campaign account by using an ATM card issued on the Rhino Harbor bank account to pay personal expenses or withdraw cash at various locations, including restaurants, grocery stores, retail stores, jewelry stores, florists, gas stations, ATMs for cash withdrawals, and liquor stores," the indictment said.
INDICTMENT: U.S. vs. Reggie Fullwood
Fullwood was allowed to post $10,000 bond and be released from custody. Neither Fullwood nor his attorney would comment Friday.
Under Florida law, a candidate or the spouse of a candidate may not use funds on deposit in a campaign account to defray normal living expenses for the candidate or the candidate’s family, other than expenses incurred for transportation, meals and lodging during travel in the course of the campaign.