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Jon Woods, Randell Shelton Found Guilty in Kickback Scheme

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Former state Sen. Jon Woods and his co-defendant, Randell Shelton Jr., have been found guilty of a dozen or more counts each of fraud, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported late Thursday. 

The federal jury agreed with prosecutors that the two men were involved in a scheme to kick back a portion of state General Improvement Fund grants directed to private Ecclesia College in Springdale. GIF was state money legislators could direct to local projects.

Woods was convicted on 15 counts, and Shelton was convicted on 12 counts.

Eccelsia President Oren Paris III and former state Rep. Micah Neal were also indicted in the case, but they pleaded guilty before the trial that began April 9. Paris submitted his plea last month, while Neal pleaded guilty last year. 

Also, the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled last year that the way GIF money was distributed was unconstitutional.

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