LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A former state senator and member of a political family received a prison sentence for bribery Tuesday.
Jeremy Hutchinson received a 50-month sentence in federal court. Combined with existing penalties, he will serve a total of 8 years after pleading guilty to charges of filing a false tax return and two counts of conspiracy to commit federal program bribery.
The Tuesday sentencing was in the Western District of Missouri court. The previous sentencing had been made in the Eastern and Western District of Arkansas courts.
Court records show the charges stem from Hutchinson’s work for Preferred Family Health Care Inc. of Missouri. While being paid by them as outside counsel and as a state senator, Hutchinson would hold up agency budgets and act on legislation.
Investigators found that between May 2014 and 2017 Hutchinson received $350,000 in monthly retainer payments from Preferred Family.
Preferred Family agreed in 2022 to pay $8 million in forfeiture and restitution to the federal government and Arkansas as part of a non-prosecution agreement. Six former officers of the company and a political consultant pleaded guilty to charges related to the bribery scheme.
Former Arkansas Rep. Eddie Wayne Cooper of Melbourne pleaded guilty in 2018 for his role in the scheme and is awaiting sentencing. Former Sen. Henry “Hank” Williams was sentenced in January to a year and a day for his role in the scheme.
Hutchinson resigned as a state senator in 2018 after being indicted by a federal grand jury on tax and wire fraud charges. He is the son of former United States Sen. Tim Hutchinson and nephew of former governor and current presidential candidate Asa Hutchinson.