Hutchinson family scion in Arkansas sentenced to prison on bribery, tax fraud charges
Former Arkansas state Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson received a 46-month prison sentence for his role in a bribery and tax fraud scheme, the Department of Justice announced Friday.
Hutchinson, 48, of Little Rock, pleaded guilty in 2019 to filing a false tax return in the U.S. District Court of Eastern Arkansas. He also pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit federal program bribery in the U.S. District Court in Western Arkansas, according to a DOJ news release.
Sentencing is still pending in the U.S. District Court of Missouri on a plea deal reached in a separate case, according to the DOJ.
Hutchinson is the son of former U.S. Sen. Tim Hutchinson and the nephew of former Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
The Arkansas case involved the misuse of $10,000 in campaign funds by Hutchinson. He failed to report $20,000 a month payments he received from a law firm, according to court documents. The former lawmaker also championed legislation that benefited an orthodontist in exchange for legal work, according to the DOJ.
In the Missouri case, Hutchinson participated in a "public corruption scheme" involving a health care charity, Preferred Family Healthcare and other legislators, the DOJ said. Hutchinson was paid a legal retainer in exchange for favorable votes and legislation that benefitted the charity, according to the news release.
Preferred Family Healthcare paid the federal government $8 million in fines and forfeiture in 2022, the DOJ said. Six people associated with the charity pleaded guilty to charges related to the scheme.
Former Arkansas state representative Eddie Wayne Cooper and former Arkansas state senator and representative Henry Wilkins IV have also pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme.
Political consultant Donald Andrew Jones of New Jersey pleaded guilty in 2017, according to the DOJ.