Former Arkansas State Senator Jeremy Hutchinson pleaded guilty today to accepting multiple bribes and tax fraud in connection with a multi-district investigation spanning the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas and the Western District of Missouri.
Hutchinson, 45, a Republican, of Little Rock, Arkansas, was previously a state senator and representative prior to resigning after he was charged in the Eastern District of Arkansas in a 12-count federal grand jury indictment with eight counts of wire fraud and four counts of filing false tax returns. The indictment alleges that from 2010 through 2017, Hutchinson stole and misappropriated thousands of dollars in state campaign contributions for his own personal use and then filed false federal income tax returns from 2011 to 2014 to conceal his conduct. Hutchinson was also previously charged in a 32-count federal grand jury indictment in the Western District of Missouri for his role in a multi-million-dollar public corruption scheme that involved embezzlement, bribes and illegal campaign contributions for elected public officials. Pursuant to his plea agreement, Hutchinson agreed to plead guilty to Count 1 of the Western District of Missouri superseding indictment, charging him with conspiracy to commit federal program bribery; Count 9 of the Eastern District of Arkansas indictment, charging him with filing a false tax return; and to an information filed in the Western District of Arkansas, charging him with conspiracy to commit federal program bribery.
As part of his plea, Hutchinson admitted that he was hired as outside counsel by an unidentified individual who owned and operated orthodontic clinics throughout the State of Arkansas, and in exchange for payments and legal work, Hutchinson pushed legislation beneficial to the individual. Hutchinson admitted that he was provided legal work to conceal the corrupt nature of his arrangement and that he would have never been hired by the individual if not for his position as an elected official. Hutchinson further admitted as part of his plea that in 2011, he stole over $10,000 in state campaign funds for his own personal use and also falsified his 2011 tax returns, including failing to report $20,000-per-month-payments he received from one law firm and other sources of income he knowingly and intentionally concealed from his taxes.