LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced the conviction of court reporter Michael Ashcraft, an Arkansas State employee, of a class D felony theft. From January 2015 to June 2018, Ashcraft manipulated, misappropriated and misused membership funds in excess of $100,000 without the knowledge or permission of the Arkansas Court Reporters Association board members or association membership. Ashcraft was sentenced to three years unsupervised probation and must pay restitution to the association as well as restitution to the State.
“Ashcraft was in a position of trust and used his position to steal from the taxpayers of Arkansas,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “It is a horrible act and this conviction will ensure Ashcraft will pay back every dollar he stole.”
Ashcraft was treasurer of the Arkansas Court Reporters Association organization for twelve years. As treasurer, Ashcraft had full and complete access to association membership funds generated by membership dues. An audit found that Ashcraft took advantage of his position as treasurer and displayed a continuing course of conduct by fraudulently using association membership funds by comingling legitimate association purchases with his own personal purchases and purchases for others.
After an extensive and thorough investigation, Agents with the Public Integrity Division of the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office sought and received a warrant of arrest for Ashcraft, who was subsequently arrested and charged with one count of Theft of Property, a class B Felony. In March 2021, Ashcraft turned himself in to authorities in Bradley County and was released on a $15,000 bond.