Former Indiana lawmaker to plead guilty to federal fraud charge
Former state lawmaker pleads guilty to federal criminal charges
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to include new information released Friday morning by federal prosecutors
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A former Indiana state lawmaker has agreed to plead guilty to a federal fraud charge for soliciting a job from a gaming company to support casino legislation.
The charges and plea agreement for Sean Eberhart were filed in federal court in Indianapolis late Thursday afternoon.
Eberhart has agreed to plead guilty to a single count of Conspiracy to Commit Honest Services Fraud.
The charge carries a maximum of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Federal investigators say Eberhart solicited and accepted future employment with Spectacle Entertainment, a gaming company, in exchange for his support of legislation that would benefit Spectacle.
Eberhart served on the House Committee on Public Policy, the committee that held jurisdiction over casino and gambling issues.
The plea agreement indicates federal evidence against Eberhart includes “text message communications to and from EBERHART, call records involving EBERHART digital images of documents sent to and/or received from EBERHART and others, covert recordings of conversations with EBERHART, and audio and video recordings and other records of statements and actions in the Indiana legislature.”
Prosecutors have agreed to recommend the lowest possible sentence under federal guidelines, but the agreement does not include a specific sentence.
Eberhart has also agreed to pay $60,000 restitution, although court documents do not indicate who would receive the payment.
Eberhart, a Republican from Shelbyville, served in the Indiana House of Representatives for 16 years before retiring in 2022.
The online court docket does not list a next court date in the case.