Gilliam

Former Atlantic City Mayor Frank Gilliam leaves federal court Oct. 3, 2019, after pleading guilty to wire fraud charges, having admitted to stealing money from a youth basketball program he ran.

Sentencing for the former Atlantic City mayor who pleaded guilty to wire fraud in federal court last year has been rescheduled a second time.

Frank Gilliam Jr. will be sentenced April 2, court documents show. Gilliam, 49, resigned hours after he pleaded guilty to defrauding a youth basketball program out of more than $87,000.

Under federal sentencing guidelines, Gilliam faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Criminal justice experts do not believe Gilliam will receive a maximum sentence and could avoid incarceration altogether.

Gilliam admitted to defrauding the AC Starz basketball program — a non-profit he co-founded in 2011 — out of $87,215 between 2013 and 2018, court documents show. He used solicited donations for personal expenses, including luxury designer clothing, expensive meals and personal trips, authorities said.

On Oct. 3, 2019, Gilliam pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court and was released after posting a $100,000 unsecured bond. He stepped down as mayor later that day.

On Dec. 3, 2018, federal agents from the FBI and IRS raided Gilliam’s home and recovered $41,335. As part of a plea agreement signed in September, that money was used toward restitution for the victims of Gilliam’s fraud, and he also must pay the remaining $45,880.

First elected as an at-large councilman in 2008, Gilliam ran for mayor in 2017 and defeated Marty Small Sr. in the Democratic primary before besting Republican incumbent Don Guardian in the general election. He was sworn in as Atlantic City’s 40th mayor Jan. 1, 2018.

Small became mayor after Gilliam resigned in October.

Gilliam’s mayoral tenure was overshadowed by controversies.

Even before being sworn in as mayor in January 2018, he was accused of stealing a $10,000 check from his own political party, which he claimed was a mistake and later returned. An Atlantic County judge dismissed a criminal complaint in April 2018 for lack of probable cause.

In November 2018, Gilliam and Councilman-at-large Jeffree Fauntleroy II were captured on security cameras outside Golden Nugget Atlantic City engaged in a melee with three employees of Haven Nightclub. Complaints of simple assault and harassment against the two officials were dismissed in North Wildwood municipal court. Fauntleroy pleaded guilty to an obscure local ordinance and paid a $500 fine.

A female entertainment manager at Haven — described as having a “close personal relationship” with the mayor — filed a civil suit against Gilliam in March, claiming she lent him $5,000 and was never repaid. The parties settled out of court before the matter went to trial.

Contact: 609-272-7222

ddanzis@pressofac.com

Twitter @ACPressDanzis

Staff Writer

I cover Atlantic City government and the casino industry since joining The Press in early 2018. I formerly worked as a politics & government reporter for NJ Herald and received the First Amendment: Art Weissman Memorial NJPA Award two years in a row.

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