ABCC Investigator Indicted on Bribery Charges

The Boston Globe reports that an inspector for the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission from Melrose who was arrested in July for allegedly taking a bribe in exchange for obtaining a liquor license has been indicted in Superior Court.

Arthur Hitchman, 39, was indicted by a Middlesex grand jury on charges of attempted extortion, soliciting, and accepting a corrupt gift to influence an official act, solicitation to commit the receiving of stolen property, and two counts of improper storage of a firearm. His arraignment in Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn is scheduled for Oct. 8.

The charges stem from Hitchman’s July 13 arrest after State Police investigators assigned to the office of Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone conducted a sting that the DA says shows Hitchman accepted a $3,000 bribe to secure a liquor license for an unnamed convicted felon.

The felon was allegedly attempting to open a restaurant in Everett. According to authorities, the Everett man had planned to run his business and obtain the liquor license using the name of a female relative.

Hitchman intervened, according to the DA, offering to help obtain the license for $3,000 in cash. An undercover state trooper, posing as the female relative’s husband, met Hitchman May 18 to delivery the money, which the DA said he accepted. According to the DA, authorities have documented conversations between Hitchman and the undercover officer in which Hitchman admitted to altering the Everett restaurateur’s license application to ensure its passage by commission.

Hitchman also allegedly offered to sell the undercover officer illegal video poker machines worth thousands of dollars. Hitchman allegedly suggested that the machines could be used to generate illegal profit at the Everett restaurant.

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