Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 15, 2016
State Representative Indicted For Embezzlement From Campaign Fund And Failure To File Federal Income Tax Returns
Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the unsealing of an indictment charging Reginald Fullwood (41, Jacksonville) with 10 counts of wire fraud and 4 counts of failure to file federal income tax returns. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison for each wire fraud offense, and a year of imprisonment for each failure to file charge. The indictment also notifies Fullwood that the United States is seeking a money judgment in the amount of $65,445, the proceeds of the criminal conduct charged in counts one through ten.
According to the indictment, while Fullwood was seeking election to the Florida House of Representatives, as well as during re-election campaigns, he caused numerous electronic funds transfers from the “Reggie Fullwood Campaign” bank account to a bank account of an entity owned by Fullwood, Rhino Harbor, LLC. Fullwood then used those funds, 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 alleges that in order to conceal his fraudulent embezzlement of campaign funds, Fullwood submitted or caused to be submitted false and fraudulent campaign expenditure reports to the State of Florida, which included inflated and/or non-existent campaign expenses.
As set forth in the indictment, in the State of Florida, 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 actually incurred for transportation, meals, and lodging during travel in the course of the campaign.
Fullwood is also charged with four counts of willful failure to file personal federal income tax returns for calendar years 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. “No public official gets a free pass to ignore the tax laws, and IRS-CI works to ensure that everyone pays their fair share.”
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mark B. Devereaux.