Yinka Adeshina’s invisible campaign for governor never did catch on with Florida voters, but it drew attention from state law enforcement agents.
Adeshina, who finished a distant third to Gov. Rick Scott in the Republican primary, was arrested and booked Monday into the county jail in Tallahassee on $10,000 bond on two felony counts of fraud.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Adeshina falsely claimed $182,000 in campaign contributions from dozens of people who do not exist.
FDLE’s arrest warrant noted that 18 of 25 donors on one of her campaign reports listed Adeshina’s own Tallahassee home as their residence.
FDLE noted that candidates who can raise at least $150,000 in small donations from Florida residents are eligible to receive matching donations from the state as part of a limited public campaign financing program, and concluded that Adeshina “did provide false information in an effort to receive the money.”
Adeshina was arrested at the Tallahassee airport as she returned home from a three-week family vacation in Nigeria. FDLE said her arrival was delayed because she underwent medical screening at the Atlanta airport for possible symptoms of Ebola, but “she was determined to not have any symptoms or signs of illness.”
Adeshina, 43, received 16,761 votes in the Aug. 26 primary, or 1.8 percent of the vote. She received more votes in Pinellas (1,355) than any other county in the state.