LITTLE ROCK—A federal grand jury indicted current Arkansas State Senator Jeremy Hutchinson for allegedly devising a scheme to steal thousands of dollars in campaign contributions—spending them on personal luxuries and expenses—and then falsifying state campaign finance reports and tax filings as part of the scheme.
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 today.
Hutchinson, 44, of Little Rock, has been a State Senator since 2011 and first became involved in elected politics as a State Representative in 2000. The 12-count indictment charges Hutchinson with eight counts of wire fraud and four counts of filing false tax returns. Hutchinson is scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patricia S. Harris on September 18 at 10 a.m.
“Jeremy Hutchinson allegedly diverted contributions from his Arkansas State Senate campaigns to pay for an array of personal expenses,” said Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski. “The charges in this case demonstrate the commitment of the Department and our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute those involved in alleged campaign-related misconduct.”
“This indictment by the grand jury represents serious charges, and we look forward to preparing our case and presenting it to a jury of 12 people who we trust to do justice in this matter,” said U.S. Attorney Hiland.
“The indictment of Jeremy Hutchinson represents our commitment to vigorously investigate allegations of public corruption by elected officials,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Upchurch. “We appreciate the efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas, IRS-CI, FBI, and the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section.”
“The grand jury’s indictment of Mr. Hutchinson demonstrates the collective resolve of IRS-CI to enforce our nation’s tax laws,” said IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge Cantu.
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. Counts nine through 12 charge Hutchinson with tax fraud for allegedly filing false tax returns from 2011 to 2014.
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 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.
An indictment contains only allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.