Mississippi County Sheriff Pleads Guilty to Fraud and Identity Theft, Agrees to Resign
St. Louis, MO – Cory Hutcheson, 35, of East Prairie, MO, pled 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. Sentencing has been set for February 28, 2019.
In his plea, Hutcheson admitted from April of 2014 through March 2017, he devised a scheme to obtain hundreds of individual’s location data. The defendant submitted thousands of Securus LBS requests and obtained the location data of individual phone subscribers without valid legal authorization, and, often, without the consent or even knowledge of the targeted individual. The defendant obtained the location data of mobile telephone users, including law enforcement officers, personal associates and friends, as well as a judge, without required legal process or authorization. He would routinely upload false and fraudulent documents to the Securus LBS platform. The location information request was submitted using wire communications transmitted in interstate.
Hutcheson faces a maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine of $250,000 on the wire fraud charge and not more than 5 years and a fine of $250,000 on the transfer of identification information charge. In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges. As part of the plea, Hutcheson agreed to resign as Sheriff not later than November 24, 2018.
“Sheriff Hutcheson simply misused an important law enforcement tool for his own purposes and, as a result, invaded the privacy of hundreds without the appropriate legal process,” said U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen.
This 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 United States Attorneys Gwen Carroll and Lindsey McClure-Hartman are handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.