LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA) — A federal grand jury indicted an Arkansas State Senator for allegedly devising a scheme to steal thousands of dollars, according to a news release.
Arkansas State Senator Jeremy Hutchinson was planning to spend the money on campaign contributions, personal luxuries and expenses—and then falsifying state campaign finance reports and tax filings as part of the scheme, according to the news release.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Cody Hiland for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Special Agent in Charge Diane Upchurch of the FBI Little Rock Field Office, and Special Agent in Charge Tamera Cantu of IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS–CI) Dallas Field Office, made the announcement after the indictment was unsealed on Friday, according to the news release.
Hutchinson, 44, has been a State Senator since 2011 and first became involved in elected politics as a State Representative in 2000, according to the news release.
Hutchinson faces a 12-count indictment charge. He is scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patricia S. Harris on September 18 at 10 a.m.
Counts one through eight of the indictment charge Hutchinson with wire fraud related to falsified state campaign finance reports and soliciting campaign donors with fraudulent intent, according to the news release.
Counts nine through 12 charge Hutchinson with tax fraud for allegedly filing false tax returns from 2011 to 2014, according to the news release.
“The maximum penalties for violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343 (wire fraud), as charged in counts one through eight is not more than 20 years’ imprisonment, a fine of not more than $250,000, and not more than three years of supervised release. A violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7206(1) (filing false tax return), as charged in counts nine through 12, carries a maximum penalty of three years’ imprisonment, a fine of not more than $100,000, together with the costs of prosecution, and not more than one year of supervised release,” the news release states.
The investigation into Hutchinson was conducted by the FBI and IRS-CI.
“The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Stephanie Mazzanti and Patrick Harris from the Eastern District of Arkansas, Assistant United States Attorney Ben Wulff from the Western District of Arkansas, and Trial Attorney Marco Palmieri of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section,” the news release states.
Senator Hutchison is Governor Asa Hutchinson’s nephew.
“An indictment contains only allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty,” the news release states.