The Justice Department this week filed a motion about additional evidence it wants to introduce in the trial of former Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson on charges that he converted campaign money to personal use and dodged federal income taxes.
The U.S. attorney’s office wants to introduce so-called 404 B evidence, which sheds ill light on a defendant but is not a part of the specific charge he faces. Some of these transactions came up during his testimony at the recent hearing at which he’s seeking to suppress evidence from a computer provided to the FBI by his former girlfriend, Julie McGee.
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The filing offers details on how Hutchinson allegedly misapplied a bank loan and campaign money to pay personal expenses.
For example: The government says Hutchinson obtained a $50,000 loan from Centennial Bank, nominally a “business” loan. Shortly after, he withdrew $7,000 in cash and deposited it in a Bank of America account. Later he put a $500 check from the Saline Republican Party and $23,000 from the Centennial account into a different “business” account. From there, he made personal expenditures, the government contends: $3,500 to his girlfriend Julie McGee and $11,500 in child support to his ex-wife Stephanie.
The filing also discusses a residential loan he received on a Chenal Woods condo. It said he made a number of misrepresentations to obtain the loan. Again he drew on money restricted to business use for the real estate deal.
The government also wants to submit evidence that Hutchinson signed a false bill of sale for the purchase of a used Jeep, saying it cost $3,000 when it actually cost $22,000.
The filing argues that false statements by Hutchinson and misuse of bank money are “inextricably intertwined” with the charges he faces.
The Defendant is charged with knowingly devising a scheme to defraud in which he made material false representations or omissions to contributors about his intended use of campaign contributions, stole such contributions for the purpose of enriching himself and spending campaign funds on personal luxuries and expenses, and falsified sworn declarations to the state of Arkansas about the receipt and expenditures of those funds. Here, the Defendant intermingled campaign funds with Centennial funds obtained under false pretenses to use as a down payment on a separate First
Security loan in which the Defendant misrepresented the source of the down payment.
Accordingly, the Defendant commingled two separate streams of fraudulently obtained funds in furtherance of his charged scheme to use campaign funds to pay for personal expenditures.
Hutchinson will presumably object to the government’s effort to use this evidence.
Judge Kristine Baker is still considering the motion to suppress computer evidence.