Jacksonville Rep. Fullwood Indicted On Embezzlement Charges
A state representative from Jacksonville has been indicted on embezzlement charges.
Dist. 13 Rep. Reggie Fullwood, D-Jacksonville, 41, was charged with 10 counts of wire fraud and four counts of failure to file federal income tax returns, U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley III announced the charges Friday.
If convicted, Fullwood faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each wire fraud offense, a year of imprisonment for each failure to file charge and a money judgment of $65,445, the indictment states.
Fullwood pleaded not guilty Friday to the charges in federal court in Jacksonville.
The Florida representative’s attorney Robert Willis told WJCT he’ll be filing a motion to dismiss the wire fraud charges, saying "it amounts to state elections fraud which is a misdemeanor, not a felony."
Fullwood is free after posting a $10,000 bond.
According to the indictment, while Fullwood was seeking election to the Florida House of Representatives, as well as during re-election campaigns, he transferred electronic funds from the "Reggie Fullwood Campaign" bank account to a bank account of an entity owned by Fullwood, Rhino Harbor, LLC.
MORE | Read the full indictment below
Fullwood then used approximately $65,000 in financial contributions for personal expenditures, including restaurants, grocery stores, retail stores, jewelry stores, florists, gas stations and liquor stores.
The indictment also said Fullwood submitted fraudulent campaign expense reports to the state.
Fullwood is also charged with four counts of failure to file personal federal income tax returns for 2010 through 2013.
"Public officials, whether elected or appointed, hold positions of trust in the eyes of the public. That trust is broken when these officials commit crimes," said Special Agent in Charge Kim Lappin, IRS-Tampa Field Office in a news release.
Fullwood did not immediately return calls for comment. Meanwhile the Duval County Democratic Party and the Florida House Democratic Office told WJCT they had no comment other than "he’s innocent until proven guilty."
Fullwood's indictment is the latest political scandal on the First Coast. At the same time, Democratic Congresswoman Corrine Brown is fending off a House ethics probe and federal investigation into her work with an organization that misrepresented itself as a charity.
Editor's note: This article has been updated with a statement from Fullwood's attorney, Robert Willis, and WJCT's attempts to reach Fullwood and the Florida House Democratic Office for comment.