Orthodontist charged in scheme to bribe Arkansas lawmaker

Orthodontist charged in scheme to bribe Arkansas lawmaker
(Source: ABC/NBC)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An orthodontist who operated several clinics in Arkansas has been charged in a bribery scheme involving a former state senator who acknowledged accepting thousands of dollars in exchange for efforts to change a dental practices law.

Prosecutors announced Monday that a federal grand jury has indicted Benjamin Gray Burris on 14 count of honest services wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud for the scheme involving former Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson.

Hutchinson has also pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from a health nonprofit in another case. Hutchinson is the nephew of Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

Burris is accused of paying Hutchinson more than $157,000 through Hutchinson’s law firm and providing gifts such as free orthodontic services for his family. A spokesman for Burris denied the allegations and said they will “mount a forceful defense.”

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