ABCC official indicted for extortion

A man planning to open a restaurant in Everett was contacted by an Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission official who apparently used his position to extort money from the man.

The ABCC official Arthur Hitchman, 39, of Melrose, has been 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 improper storage of firearms, according to Middlesex County District Attorney Jerry Leone.

Hitchman will be arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn on October 8.

Authorities allege that Hitchman contacted a man who wanted to open a restaurant in Everett and wanted to receive a liquor license.

Hitchman apparently knew of the man’s prior criminal record and indicated to him that because of it, a license would not be granted to him but that if he paid $3,000 to Hitchman, he could make it happen, the district attorney reported.

On May 18, an undercover State Trooper, posing as a family member of the restauranteur, met Hitchman and paid him $3,000.

Hitchman took the money and said he’d help secure the license.

The District Attorney’s office said that Hitchman had repeated conversations with the undercover State Trooper.

Hitchman admitted that he had made the changes necessary on the applicant’s liquor license paperwork to ensure the license would be approved.

In addition, during one of the meetings with the State Trooper, Hitchman offered to sell the trooper illegal video poker machines for $1,000 each indicating they would be a nice source of illegal income.

On July 13, as the result of a search warrant, Hitchman’s Melrose home was investigated.

State Troopers recovered two 9mm semi-automatic pistols, one of which was loaded.

That afternoon, Hitchman was arrested and held on $3000 cash bail at the Malden District Court.

He later made bail and was released on the condition that he stay away from the victim and that he is to have no firearms.

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