In a recent case of corruption and bribery, a former Arkansas State Senator has been sentenced to four years and two months in prison. The sentencing follows a multi-district investigation that spanned the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas and the Western District of Missouri. Jeremy Hutchinson, 48, pleaded guilty to a false tax return in the Eastern District of Arkansas, conspiracy to commit federal program bribery in the Western District of Arkansas, and conspiracy to commit federal program bribery in the Western District of Missouri. Hutchinson was involved in a bribery scheme with Preferred Family Healthcare Inc., a healthcare charity based in Springfield, Missouri. As part of the scheme, Hutchinson performed official acts on behalf of the charity in exchange for payments and legal work. The company has agreed to pay over $8 million in forfeiture and restitution to the federal government and the state of Arkansas. This case is part of a larger investigation that has seen multiple individuals plead guilty to their involvement.
Former Arkansas State Senator Sentenced for Role in Bribery Scheme
Former Arkansas State Senator, Jeremy Hutchinson, has been sentenced to four years and two months in prison for his involvement in a bribery scheme. This sentencing comes as a result of a multi-district investigation that spanned the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas and the Western District of Missouri. Hutchinson pleaded guilty to various charges, including filing a false tax return and conspiracy to commit federal program bribery. In addition to this sentence, Hutchinson will also serve three years and ten months in prison for his convictions in the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas. The sentence in the Western District of Missouri will run consecutively to the previous sentence, resulting in a total of eight years in prison for Hutchinson.
Background on the Bribery Scheme
The investigation into the bribery scheme involved public officials and a healthcare charity. The scheme spanned multiple districts, highlighting its widespread nature. The goal of the investigation was to uncover the full extent of the bribery scheme and hold those involved accountable for their actions.
Details of Hutchinson’s Involvement in the Scheme
Hutchinson played a significant role in the bribery scheme. He was hired as outside counsel for Preferred Family Healthcare Inc., a healthcare charity based in Springfield, Missouri. In exchange for payments and legal work, Hutchinson performed official acts on behalf of the charity. These acts included holding up agency budgets and drafting and voting on legislation. Hutchinson’s involvement solidified his connection to the scheme and his participation in its illicit activities.
Payments and Work Performed by Hutchinson for Preferred Family Healthcare
Hutchinson received over $350,000 in monthly retainer payments from Preferred Family Healthcare. These payments were made in exchange for the legal work and official acts performed by Hutchinson on behalf of the charity. Through these payments, Hutchinson benefited financially from his involvement in the bribery scheme.
Penalties and Restitution for Preferred Family Healthcare
As part of a non-prosecution agreement, Preferred Family Healthcare agreed to pay over $8 million in forfeiture and restitution to the federal government and the state of Arkansas. This agreement acknowledged the company’s admission of criminal conduct by its former officers and employees. The penalties and restitution aim to hold Preferred Family Healthcare accountable for its role in the bribery scheme and to deter similar conduct in the future.
Other Individuals Involved in the Scheme
Several other individuals pleaded guilty in connection to the bribery scheme. Former executives and members of the Arkansas state legislature were among those involved. Each individual played a specific role in the scheme, and their charges varied based on their level of involvement. The guilty pleas demonstrate the breadth of the scheme and the collective effort to bring those responsible to justice.
Investigation and Prosecution of the Case
The investigation into the bribery scheme was a lengthy and complex process. It spanned multiple jurisdictions, requiring the involvement of various law enforcement agencies. The FBI, IRS-CI, and Offices of the Inspectors General from multiple departments played a crucial role in uncovering the details of the scheme and gathering evidence. The prosecution of the case was led by the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and U.S. Attorneys. Their dedication to justice ensured a thorough investigation and a strong case against those involved in the scheme.
Announcement of the Sentencing and Acknowledgment of Involved Agencies
With Hutchinson’s sentencing, the public is informed of the outcome of the case and the details surrounding the bribery scheme. The announcement serves as a reminder of the consequences faced by those who engage in corrupt activities. Additionally, the involved agencies, including the FBI, IRS-CI, and Offices of the Inspectors General, are acknowledged for their efforts in investigating and prosecuting the case. Their collaboration was vital in achieving a successful outcome.
Prosecution and Assistance in the Criminal Cases
The criminal cases against the individuals involved in the bribery scheme were diligently prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Criminal Division, along with U.S. Attorneys from the Eastern District of Arkansas, Western District of Arkansas, and Western District of Missouri. Their expertise in prosecuting complex cases ensured a thorough presentation of the evidence and a strong case against the defendants. Additionally, former Assistant U.S. Attorneys from the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas contributed significantly to the cases.
Related Press Releases
For additional information on similar cases and ongoing efforts to combat public corruption, related press releases can provide valuable context. These press releases highlight the commitment of law enforcement agencies and the Department of Justice to hold corrupt individuals accountable and maintain the integrity of public offices and programs.