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Former State Senator Gilbert Baker Indicted for Conspiracy, Bribery

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A former Arkansas state senator has been indicted for conspiracy, bribery and wire fraud.

On Thursday, Jan. 10, former state Senator Gilbert Baker was indicted in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Arkansas on nine criminal counts, including one for conspiracy, one for bribery and seven for honest services wire fraud.

The indictment was released publicly Friday, Jan. 11.

Baker served in the Arkansas Senate from 2001 to 2013, and is the former chairman of the Arkansas Republican Party.

The criminal charges stem from an investigation into former Circuit Judge Michael Maggio’s 2014 reelection campaign. Maggio received a 10-year prison sentence for bribery in this case. Baker served as a fundraiser for Maggio’s campaign.

Baker allegedly secured funds for Maggio’s campaign and placed them into a PAC. According to investigators, Maggio subsequently reduced a Faulkner County jury finding in a nursing home trial that Baker reportedly had a financial interest.

The charges against Baker include conspiracy, bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds, and seven counts of honest services wire fraud. According to the indictment, the honest services wire fraud indicate that “the defendant, Gilbert R. Baker, Michael A. Maggio, and at least one other person, with intent to defraud, voluntarily and intentionally devised and intended to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud and deprive the citizens of the State of Arkansas and the Twentieth Judicial District of their right to the honest services of Maggio, as a circuit judge…”

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