Former Saline County Sheriff Bruce Pennington Sentenced to Prison Term for Wire Fraud
Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, along with David T. Resch, Special Agent in Charge of the Little Rock Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), announced today that Bruce Pennington, age 64, of Fayetteville, Arkansas, the former Saline County Sheriff, was sentenced to one year plus one day of incarceration following his conviction for wire fraud. On August 3, 2015, Pennington pleaded guilty to a one-count Information charging him with wire fraud for using money from his campaign account to pay for personal items and expenses charged to his Sheriff’s Office Visa card.
Pennington held the office of Saline County Sheriff from 2008 until he resigned on October 1, 2013. At the sentencing hearing in open court on December 7, 2015, before U.S. District Court Judge Kristine G. Baker, Pennington received a sentencing enhancement for abusing a position of public trust. The maximum potential penalty for a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343 (wire fraud) is up to twenty years’ imprisonment, up to three years’ supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. Based on the United States Sentencing Guidelines, Pennington faced an advisory sentencing range of 12 to 18 months. Judge Baker sentenced Pennington to one year plus one day of incarceration, a $2,500 fine, three years’ supervised release, and a $100 special assessment.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Ark Trust Public Corruption Task Force. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie Peters, in cooperation with Faulkner County Prosecuting Attorney Cody Hiland who is serving as a Special Prosecutor in Saline County Circuit Court Case No. 63CR-14-313.