On Thursday, October 5, 2017, a former Arkansas State Judge pleaded guilty to wire fraud and witness tampering. The defendant was accused of carrying out a seven-year fraud and bribery scheme in which he dismissed cases in exchange for personal benefits. 71-year-old O. Joseph Boeckmann of Wynne, Arkansas was also accused of bribing a witness in hopes of obstructing an official investigation into the crimes. Boeckmann pleaded guilty to a single count of wire fraud and one count of witness tampering.
The defendant has been on home detention and will remain on home detention, until he is sentenced. A date for that sentencing has not yet been set. Boeckmann served as a district judge for the First Judicial Circuit of Arkansas. He admitted to using his official position to dismiss traffic citations and misdemeanor criminal charges against young men in exchange for acts that were described as “community service”. However, those services actually helped Boeckmann.
In one cases, Boeckmann used his position and the guise of “community service” to take photographs of the victims in compromising positions. He also dismissed pending charges against some defendants in exchange for sexual related favors. The defendant also admitted to corruptly using his office to defraud the State and its citizens of their right to his honest services. He defrauded the state courts of money and property that they should have received as fees and fines from individuals that had their cases fraudulently dismissed.
After learning that he was under investigation, Boeckmann arranged to pay a witness to change his testimony. O. Joseph Boeckmann has pled guilty to the charges. He will be sentenced at a later date.