Former Mississippi Co. sheriff pleads guilty to fraud, ID theft; agrees to resign

Former Mississippi Co. sheriff pleads guilty to fraud, ID theft; agrees to resign
Cory Hutcheson, 35, of East Prairie, pleaded guilty to fraud and identity theft.

MISSISSIPPI COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - A former Mississippi County sheriff pleaded guilty to federal felony charges as part of a global resolution of federal and state criminal and civil cases pending against him.

Cory Hutcheson, 35, of East Prairie, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and to illegally possessing and transferring the means of identification of others, in this case mobile telephone numbers, without lawful authority, and in connection with the commission of the state felony crime of forgery. His sentencing was set for February 28, 2019.

In addition to those federal charges, Hutcheson was also facing state criminal charges based on similar conduct, and a civil lawsuit initiated by the Attorney General to remove him from the Office of Sheriff. His next court appearance in this case will be March 1.

In his plea, Hutcheson admitted from April 2014 through March 2017, he came up with a plan to get hundreds of individuals' location data. He submitted thousands of Securus LBS requests and got the location data of individual phone subscribers without valid legal authorization, and often, without the consent or knowledge of the targeted person.

Hutcheson got the location data of mobile telephone users, including law enforcement officers, personal associates and friends, as well as a judge, without legal process or authorization. He admitted to routinely uploading false and fraudulent documents to the Securus LBS platform.

Authorities say the location information request was submitted using wire communications transmitted in interstate.

In a public Facebook post, Hutcheson said he has “accepted responsibility” for a “lapse in judgement” in using the Securus data base.

Residents of Mississippi: Pursuant to an agreement reached with the US Attorney’s Office, I have accepted...

Posted by Cory Hutcheson on Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Hutcheson faces a maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine of $250,000 on the wire fraud charge and not more than five years and a fine of $250,000 on the transfer of identification information charge.

“As part of the global resolution of pending federal and state cases, after sentencing in the federal case, Mr. Hutcheson will plead guilty to one charge in the state criminal case. Additionally, as a result of his felony conviction and surrender of his peace officer license to the State, he will be removed from the office of Sheriff and permanently disqualified from serving as a peace officer.”
Mary Compton, communications director for Missouri Attorney General's Office

As a result of the plea, Hutcheson’s peace officer license was revoked and he agreed to resign as sheriff not later than Nov. 24, 2018.

“Mr. Hutcheson abused his power as Sheriff. Today’s agreement guarantees that he will no longer be able to serve as a law enforcement officer in any capacity. I am grateful we were able to work with the Department of Justice to resolve this matter.”
Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Missouri State Highway Patrol and was prosecuted in cooperation with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gwen Carroll and Lindsey McClure-Hartman are handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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