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Arkansas State Senator Gets Caught With His Hands in his Campaign Funds Cookie Jar

Arkansas Senator Jeremy Hutchinson resigned after being indicted on eight counts of wire fraud and four counts of filing false tax returns.

The indictment alleges that Hutchinson received $366,220 in campaign contributions from 2010-2017 and converted more than $200,000 for his personal use during that time by withdrawing $78,000 in cash, transferring $41,000 by wire transfer, and depositing $42,000 of contributions to his personal account.  He also cashed 5 checks totaling $6,400.  Hutchinson used the funds for a Caribbean cruise, a New Orleans vacation, tuition payments for his children, shopping sprees at jewelry and clothing stores as well as paying for everyday household expenses including groceries, gym memberships and Netflix fees.

To conceal his misuse of campaign funds, Hutchinson underreported the amount received in his campaign filings with the Secretary of State.  He also failed to report the funds he converted from his campaign to his personal accounts on his income tax returns.  Hutchinson is the sixth lawmaker in Arkansas to have pleaded guilty or been convicted of federal charges in the past year.

The wire fraud charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each count, and the tax fraud charges have a maximum penalty of 3 years in prison, plus restitution, monetary penalties and a period of supervised release.

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