Former Arkansas Executive Branch Official among those mentioned in new Preferred Family Bribery Scheme Filings

The information filing against Marilyn Nolan reveals new revelations implicating more former and/or current elected officials tied to the Preferred Family Health bribery scheme that has been working its way through the U.S. Federal Courts the past few years. Nolan was the former CEO of Preferred Family Healthcare and pleaded guilty to one county of conspiracy for her role in the bribery scheme. The information charging and alleging crimes against Nolan has implicated new unnamed persons. The filing also revealed that Alternative Opportunties (acquired by Preferred Family) and Preferred Family saw over $1 billion in revenue from 2006 – 2017 with most of the funding from appropriated federal funds – the largest portion of that being Medicaid reimbursement. Arkansas lobbyist Rusty Cranford and four former state lawmakers (Jon Woods, Micah Neal, Eddie Cooper, Hank Wilkins) have all been convicted for their roles in the scheme.

Bribery/Fundraising for Multiple Arkansas Candidates

The information provides more information on illegal fundraising activities that was involved with Preferred Family Healthcare and Rusty Cranford.

On or about June 2, 2011, Cranford used his Charity corporate credit card at Sim’s Bar-B-Que in Little Rock, Arkansas. The transaction totaled $1,812 and was for a fundraiser for Arkansas Senator B. Based on other public filings Arkansas Senator B may be current State Senator Eddie Cheatham. 

On October 26, 2011, Person #2 (Bontiea Goss) sent an email to Cranford, stating, “What has [Person #8] said? Cranford responds “Nothing, could not reach him yesterday. All he wants is for us to give him a huge fundraiser like we did [Arkansas Executive Branch Official B] and he is not the person to do that for.”

On January 4, 2012 Cranford sent an email to Tom Goss, stating, in part, “Here is [Person #8] check, we still have to do another $8,000. That is what Bontia Goss wanted to do. Attached to Cranfords email to Tom Goss was a copy of a check for $2,000 payable to [Person #8] for Senate. It is unclear who Person #8 was and if he in fact was ever elected.

Attached to an email Cranford sent on January 13, 2012 were copies of nine checks totaling $7,000 all drawn on the Cranford Coalitions account and payable to elected official in the Arkansas State Senate and the Arkansas State House of Representatives.

On or about November 5, 2013 Cranford and Cooper used their Charity corporate credit cards at Sue’s Kitchen in Jonesboro, Arkansas. This was to pay for Person #10, a candidate for the Arkansas State Senate. It is unclear who Person #10 is.

Arkansas Executive Branch Official C – Candidate for Governor of Arkansas

The information claims that on or about May 30, 2012, Cranford and Eddie Cooper used their charity corporate cards at the Capital Hotel in Little Rock for a fundraiser for [Arkansas Executive Branch Official C] who was a candidate for Governor of Arkansas. At that time no candidates had announced for Governor for 2014, but the candidates ended up being Democrat Mike Ross, Republican Asa Hutchinson, and Republican Curtis Coleman. As Coleman was an opponent of Obamacare Medicaid Expansion, and a political outsider, it is unlikely it was him they are referring to.

The information later references that checks were made payable to the political action committee of Arkansas Executive Branch Official C. While Governor Asa Hutchinson currently has a PAC he uses to defeat conservative republican candidates who oppose Obamacare Medicaid Expansion and advocate more transparency in government, his PAC was not set up until 2015. Mike Ross had an affiliated PAC – Advancing Arkansas PAC that was registered to P.O. Box in Prescott, where he was residing at the time.

However, It appears Arkansas Executive Branch Official C is former Arkansas Attorney General Democrat Dustin McDaniel. While he never appeared on the ballot, McDaniel announced his candidacy for Governor before backing out following his affair.

According to the information filing, the fundraiser expense totaled $5,000 and Eddie Cooper and Cranford used their charity corporate cards to cover the cost. According to the McDaniel Leadership PAC filing dated July 16, 2012, the PAC reported a $5,000 non-monetary contribution from “Eddie Cooper” for “Food and Beverage for Fundraiser” on 5/30/12. The information filing also states that a $3,000 contribution to the PAC was made from The Cranford Coalition to this executive branch official’s PAC. According to the same PAC report, a $3,000 contribution from the Cranford Coalition was made on 5/30/12.

The filing also details fundraising activities that Nolan and Preferred Family Health held in Missouri for Missouri state officials.

U.S. Senator #3

Part of the information filing also mentions a “U.S. Senator #3” as someone that Nolan and Preferred Family was working with. In email correspondence between Nolan, Tom Goss, and Bontiea Goss, Nolan recommended keeping a specific lobbyist because of their working “assisting VR with [U.S. Senator #3]” as well . . .”

Nolan’s Role, Jeremy Hutchinson

Part of the information reveals Nolan as a leading role in trying to cover-up the bribes and and illegal lobbying/campaign contributions. In a email sent to Cranford she said “do not — and I repeat — do not — put lobbying on another invoices — just put consultant or training and development . . . ”

Former State Senator Jeremy Hutchinson’s actions were further recounted in the information, but he renamed unnamed, simply referred to as Senator A. Hutchinson has been indicted on other charges but nothing yet on his alleged acceptance of bribes in exchange for official actions for Medicaid beneficiaries.

Conduit News is continuing to research who Person #8 or Person #10 may be and will update this story when more information is found.

Full Information Filing

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