Northwest Arkansas' Best & Worst of 2012

by Northwest Arkansas Business Journal Staff  on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 2:43 pm  

Worst Role Model

Good behavior earned serial embezzler Jeri Pumphrey, also known as Jeri Freshwater and Jeri Qedan, an early release from state prison in July after serving one year of a 10-year sentence — with 30 years suspended — for stealing $60,000 from a Tontitown-based firm where she was once chief financial officer.

This is the second time Pumphrey has been released early for good behavior. She previously served only nine months of a 20-year sentence, with 18 years suspended, for stealing $74,000 from a Springdale employer.

She seems to function best in a highly structured environment.


Best Just Desserts

Kimberly O’Dell, the former Fayetteville CPA who pleaded guilty in 2011 to stealing more than $1.56 million from clients Tom and Monica Terminella and the University of Arkansas chapter of Phi Delta Theta fraternity, was sentenced in February to nine years in federal prison.

“Greed got the best of her,” her attorney told U.S. District Judge Jimm Hendren before the sentence was pronounced.

O’Dell spent nearly two years on the run after failing to appear for trial in August 2009. She was finally arrested in June 2011 in New Orleans, where she was living and working under an assumed name.


Best Cool Idea

Local entrepreneurs joined forces to create The Iceberg, a coworking facility in downtown Fayetteville that lets freelancers and other independent professionals rent work space as needed.



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