Yinka Abodeda Adeshinka, a former Republican gubernatorial candidate in the state of Florida who was defeated in the 2014 Republican Primary Election, was arrested on October 13 at the Tallahassee Regional Airport on two counts of fraud.
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), Adeshinka allegedly fabricated approximately $150,000 of the $182,000 in campaign donations she had reported to the Department of State. Florida law permits candidates to receive matching taxpayer funds if they raise more than $150,000. Although Adeshinka had received no taxpayer funds by the time she was defeated in the primaries, she had requested the public funds, which the FDLE believes was the motive behind allegedly lying about the amount of funds she had raised.
The timing of Adeshinka’s arrest (near the height of the Ebola scare in the U.S.) only added drama to the event. Having spent three weeks in Nigeria, a nation considered a high-risk location for Ebola, Adeshinka was apprehended at the Tallahassee Regional Airport by authorities wearing protective masks and gloves as a precautionary measure. The former gubernatorial candidate had been screened in Atlanta and was found not to be showing any symptoms of the disease.
Adeshinka came in at a distant third in the Republican Primary Election in August 2014, separated by incumbent Governor Rick Stott by more than 800,000 votes. Stott won re-election by a narrow margin on November 4.
Adeshinka’s trial is currently scheduled for January. She will be proscecuted by the 2nd Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office.