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Caught In The Whitewater Net

Whitewater prosecutors cast such a wide net in Arkansas that they yielded a good-sized catch, even though the big fish seem to have gotten away.

The prime quarry of investigators, who started work in 1994, were President Clinton and his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton. Mr. Clinton was cleared of any wrongdoing by special prosecutor Kenneth Starr in November and Mrs. Clinton has not been charged.

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Nevertheless, the investigation resulted in 14 convictions and two acquittals. The last six indictments, handed down in April, were dismissed by a judge in July.

Caught in the Whitewater net were:

  • Webster Hubbell. A Clinton friend from Arkansas and former law partner of Mrs. Clinton, Hubbell held the number three job in the Justice Department when the Whitewater probe began. He pleaded guilty on Dec. 6, 1994, to mail fraud and tax evasion and admitted stealing almost $400,000 from his clients and partners in Little Rock's Rose Law Firm. He was sentenced to 21 months in jail in a plea-bargain deal in which he agreed to cooperate with investigators. He has reportedly provided prosecutors with little information, while at the same time working at a variety of jobs obtained for him by friends of Mr. Clinton. This has led to accusations that Hubbell's silence was bought and to new indictments, announced April 30, accusing Hubell, his wife, his lawyer and his tax accountant of tax evasion. These have been dismisssed. But Hubbell was arraigned Nov. 23 on a third set of charges filed by Starr.

    James McDougal
  • James McDougal. A Clinton friend and Whitewater business partner, McDougal operated Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan. He was convicted in May 1996 of 18 felony counts related to bad loans made by Madison, which failed in the late 1980s at a considerable cost to taxpayers. McDougal agreed to cooperate with prosecutors against Mr. Clinton, but not until after his conviction. He died in prison in March.

    Susan McDougal
  • Susan McDougal. With her former husband, James, Mrs. McDougal was a partner in the Whitewater land deal and in Madison Guaranty. She was convicted in 1996 of four felony fraud counts. She now is serving a two-year sentence. Unlike her ex-husband, she refused to cooperate with the Whitewater prosecutors and was senteced to 18 months in jail on a civil contempt charge. She completed that jail term earlier this year, but still has refused to answer questions before a grand jury. On May 4, she was charged with criminal contempt and obstruction of justice.
  • Larry Kuca. A business associate of the McDougals, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges in connection with a federally backed loan. He was sentenced to probation and community service.
  • Robert Palmer. A land appraiser in Little Rock, Palmer was accused of filing false papers in connection with Madison Guaranty. He was sentenced to probation in 1994.

    Jim Guy Tucker
  • Governor Jim Guy Tucker President Clinton's successor as Arkansas governor, Tucker resigned after his conviction in May 1996 on mail fraud and conspiracy charges. He was sentenced to probation. Facing separate conspiracy and income-tax evasion charges in connection with a sham bankruptcy and cable-television system sale, Tucker pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with investigators.
  • William Marks Former business partner of Tucker, Marks was charged in 1997 in connection with the sham bankruptcy with which he and Tucker allegedly tried to hide profits and avoid income tax on the sale of a cable television station. He agreed to cooperate with investigators. In return, several charges against him were dropped.
  • John Haley A lawyer for Tucker, Haley was accused with Marks and Tucker in the bankruptcy and cable TV station transactions. He pleaded guilty in February to a misdemeanor charge of failing to provide correct information to the government
  • Eugene Fitzhugh. A lawyer and businessman, Fitzhugh was one of the first to be accused in 1994. He pleaded guilty to trying to bribe Hale. In exchanged for his plea, he was sentenced to 28 months, and prosecutors dropped charges accusing him of conspiring to defraud the Small Business Administration.

  • Charles Matthews. An Arknsas businessman and colleague of Fitzhugh, Mathews was accused with Fitzhugh of trying to defraud the Small Business Administration. He pleaded guilty instead to misdemeanor bribery charges and was sentenced to 16 months.

    David Hale
  • David Hale. A former municipal judge and businessman in Little Rock, Hale was the star witness in independent counsel Ken Starr's first Whitewater trial. He served a jail term for conspiring to defraud the SBA. With his guilty plea, he agreed to cooperate with investigators. He testified against the McDougals and has told prosecutors Mr. Clinton pressured him into making a suspect loa to Susan McDougal. Hale's testimony has come under question with reports that he obtained cash from a conservative group with ties to special Whitewater prosecutor Starr. Hale trial this summer on state charges was delayed by illness.
  • Stephen Smith. A former Clinton aide, Smith pleaded guilty in 1995 to lying about a federally backed loan he obtained from Hale.
  • Christopher Wade. An Arkansas businessman and real estate agent, Wade pleaded guilty to bankruptcy fraud in 1995.
  • Neal Ainley. An Arkansas banker, Ainley pleaded guilty in 1995 to concealing cash payments to Mr. Clinton's campaign.

Susan McDougal and Hale still face new charges.

Charges werwe dismissed in July against Hubbell, his wife, Suzanna Hubbell, Michael Schaufele, and Charles Owen.

Hubbell's wife and a Clinton appointee in the Interior Department, Mrs. Hubbell was accused with her husband of trying to evade taxes on her income.

A Lttle Rock accountant and friend of the Hubbells, Schaufele was accused of preparing and filing several years of false income-tax returns for the Hubbells and helping the Hubbells set up bank accounts and dummy corporations to conceal their income. Owen, an attorney, also was accused of helping to set up the bank accounts and corporations.

A judge ruled in July that because Hubbell provided prosecutors with the documents on which the indictments were based, he was protected by the Fifth Amendment from prosecution on tax charges.

Bruce Lindsey
Two Arkansas bankers, Robert Hill and Herbert Branscum were accused of four felonies in a conspiracy to conceal the funneling of large amounts of cash into Mr. Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign. The jury deadlocked in a mistrial in 1996 and prosecutors decided not to retry them.

White House adviser Bruce Lindsey, who was treasurer of the campaign, was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Branscum and Hill case.

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