Former Arkansas State Senator Going to Prison For Bribery
A former Arkansas state senator is going to prison for a bribery scam following an investigation by the IRS Criminal Investigation division and other law enforcement agencies.
This week, Jeremy Hutchinson, of Little Rock, was sentenced to four years and two months in prison for accepting multiple bribes in connection with a multi-district investigation that ranged from Arkansas into the Western District of Missouri.
Hutchinson originally pleaded guilty to multiple federal charges against him in both states in 2019.
In February 2023, the ex-politician was sentenced to three years and 10 months in federal prison for his convictions in Arkansas. His new sentence, in Missouri, will run consecutive to that term. This means that Hutchinson faces an eight-year prison term altogether.
According to an official release from the IRS, Hutchinson was retained as "outside counsel" for Preferred Family Healthcare, Inc. by the then-COO Bontiea Goss.
In exchange for payments and legal work for the Springfield, MO-based charity, Hutchinson performed a number for services on behalf of Preferred Family Healthcare. His tasks included drawing up agency budgets and drafting and voting on legislation. The organization paid Hutchinson over $350,000 in monthly retainers between May 2014 and 2017.
In 2022, Preferred Family Healthcare agreed to pay upwards of $8 million to state and federal authorities as part of a non-prosecution agreement in which the organization admitted that former employees, including Goss, engaged in criminal conduct.
The IRS shared details about additional pleas and convictions in this far-reaching investigation:
Former Chief Operating Officer Bontiea Goss, previously of Springfield, Missouri, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery in September 2022.
- Former Chief Financial Officer Tommy “Tom” Ray Goss, husband of Bontiea Goss, and also previously of Springfield, Missouri, pleaded guilty in September 2022 to participating in the conspiracy by embezzling funds and paying bribes.
- Former Chief Executive Officer Marilyn Luann Nolan, of Springfield, Missouri, pleaded guilty in November 2018 to her role in a conspiracy to embezzle and misapply charitable funds.
- Former Director of Operations and Executive Vice President Robin Raveendran, of Little Rock, Arkansas, pleaded guilty in June 2019 to conspiracy to commit bribery.
- Former executive and head of clinical operations Keith Fraser Noble, of Rogersville, Missouri, pleaded guilty in September 2019 to concealment of a known felony.
- Former employee and head of operations and lobbying in Arkansas Milton Russell Cranford, of Rogers, Arkansas, is serving seven years in federal prison for one count of federal program bribery.
- Political consultant Donald Andrew Jones, of Willingboro, New Jersey, pleaded guilty in December 2017 to his role in a conspiracy to steal from an organization that has been granted federal funding.
- Former Arkansas State Representative Eddie Wayne Cooper, of Melbourne, Arkansas, pleaded guilty in February 2018 to conspiracy to embezzle funds.
- Former Arkansas State Senator and State Representative Henry “Hank” Wilkins IV was sentenced in January 2023 for his role in a conspiracy to commit federal program bribery.
The exact date on which Hutchinson will begin his prison sentence has not been publicly announced.
What do you think about this bribery and embezzlement case?
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