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Rusty Cranford

Jeremy Hutchinson
Government & Politics / Health Care / Legal

Jeremy Hutchinson Sentenced to 50 Months for Corruption

The sentence adds to prison time he received in December for tax fraud. He now faces eight years behind bars. read more >
Government & Politics / Health Care / Legal

Nonprofit Health Execs Plead Guilty in Arkansas Bribery Case

Under the terms of their respective plea agreements, they must forfeit to the government up to $4.3 million. read more >
Government & Politics / Health Care / Legal

Firm Paying $8M to Arkansas, Feds Over Corruption Probe

Preferred Family Healthcare will forfeit the majority of the amount to the federal government. read more >
South Arkansas Youth Services Inc. filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last month, after losing a bid in 2016 to continue managing the Dermott Juvenile Treatment Center (above) and four other juvenile centers in Arkansas. Two of its former employees, Jennifer and Aric Knight, have been charged with theft.
Banking & Finance / Government & Politics / Health Care / Insurance / Legal

South Arkansas Youth Services Board Was Negligent, Trustee Says

If the board of the defunct South Arkansas Youth Services Inc. of Magnolia had done its job, it could have prevented the CEO from using money for bribes and kickbacks, a lawsuit alleges. read more >
Jim Parsons, a former Ecclesia instructor and board member, sought to open Ecclesia financial records to full public inspection since the private school accepted state money.
Education / Government & Politics / Legal / Nonprofits

Ecclesia Fallout Includes Taxpayer LawsuitLock Icon

Three years after its president resigned on his way to federal prison after participating in a state grant kickback scheme, Ecclesia College continues to deal with the repercussions. read more >
Jeremy Hutchinson
Government & Politics / Health Care / Legal

Coronavirus Delays Sentencing in Jeremy Hutchinson CaseLock Icon

It turns out that the pandemic is the reason that former state Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson, nephew of Gov. Asa Hutchinson, still has not been sentenced more than a year after his guilty plea read more >
Chirie Bazzelle, whose Little Rock firm provides outpatient behavioral and mental health services, says the children she counsels give her energy.  “The need is there, Bazzelle says.”
Government & Politics / Health Care

New Beginnings CEO Chirie Bazzelle Pleads Guilty to Obstruction

Chirie Bazzelle, owner and CEO of New Beginnings Behavioral Health Services, has reached a plea agreement with the state attorney general's office involving a misdemeanor charge of obstructing governmental operations, the office says. read more >
Quapaw House, seen here on Grand Avenue in Hot Springs, owed $1.9 million for unpaid payroll taxes in 2019. It also is also being sued by employees who haven’t been paid recently.
Health Care / Legal / Nonprofits / Real Estate

Quapaw House Sued for $2.6MLock Icon

Troubled Quapaw House Inc. of Hot Springs recently received more bad news. read more >
Quapaw House, seen here on Grand Avenue in Hot Springs, owed $1.9 million for unpaid payroll taxes in 2019. It also is also being sued by employees who haven’t been paid recently.
Education / Government & Politics / Health Care / Legal / Nonprofits

Quapaw House, Successor to Preferred Family Healthcare, Has Woes of Its Own

Robert Lewis saw warning signs during his short time as a director of Quapaw House Inc., the Hot Springs nonprofit organization that acquired the assets of scandal-plagued Preferred Family Healthcare a year and a half ago. read more >
The Dermott Juvenile Correctional Facility as it appeared in May 2014 while South Arkansas Youth Services Inc. of Magnolia was in charge of managing the center.
Government & Politics / Legal / Nonprofits

Former SAYS Director Jerry Walsh Sentenced For Role in Rusty Cranford Scheme

Jerry Walsh, the former longtime director of the South Arkansas Youth Services Inc. of Magnolia, was sentenced Wednesday to two and a half years in prison for conspiring to misapply more than $380,000 from the now-defunct organization. read more >
Government & Politics / Legal

New Jersey Man Faces Sentencing in Arkansas Corruption Case

Federal prosecutors have recommended a reduced sentence for a New Jersey political consultant caught in an Arkansas political corruption case. read more >
Education / Legal

Good News, Bad News (Editorial)

It was one of those weeks. read more >
Milton R. "Rusty" Cranford
Government & Politics / Legal

Rusty Cranford Gets 7-Year Sentence in Corruption Scheme

Milton R. "Rusty" Cranford was sentenced to seven years in prison, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Western District of Missouri. read more >
Jeremy Hutchinson
Government & Politics / Legal / Nonprofits

Arkansas Soap Opera (Gwen Moritz Editor’s Note)

I’ve accepted another invitation to speak to the Arkansas chapter of the Certified Fraud Examiners. I thought I’d have to scramble for material, but the hearing into former state Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson’s motion to suppress evidence in his federal criminal case feels like manna from heaven. read more >
Jim Hendren
Legal

Arkansas Grapples with Ethics Cleanup Amid Federal Probes

Arkansas has had its share of notable corruption cases over the years, including when the governor who succeeded Bill Clinton was convicted in a Whitewater-related probe and when a state treasurer was caught accepting bribes stashed in pie boxes. read more >
Milton R. "Rusty" Cranford
Government & Politics / Health Care / Legal / Nonprofits

A Surrender of Oversight (Editorial)

The story about the mental health services provider that ripped off both taxpayers and the mentally ill reveals what happens when bureaucrats and lawmakers surrender their oversight duties to highly conflicted parties. read more >
Legal

Who’s the Boss (Editorial)

Everyone knows the reason for a lobbyist's existence: to persuade lawmakers to do what the lobbyist wants him to do. But when lobbyists actually pay lawmakers — well, that’s influence of a whole other magnitude. read more >
Government & Politics / Insurance / Real Estate

Quapaw House Completes Acquisition of PFH Clinics

Quapaw House Inc. of Hot Springs finalizes plans to acquire the Arkansas assets of Preferred Family Healthcare of Springfield, Missouri, the scandal-plagued behavioral health provider that was cut off from state Medicaid payments earlier this year. read more >
Government & Politics / Insurance / Legal / Nonprofits

How Quapaw Is Picking Up Preferred Family Healthcare’s PiecesLock Icon

The end of Preferred Family Healthcare’s implosion in Arkansas, which jolted the state’s Medicaid service industry and scarred its political landscape, came not with a bang, but with a text. read more >
Government & Politics / Nonprofits / Restaurants & Food

Chocolate and Peanut Butter (Gwen Moritz Editor’s Note)

I have a couple of favorite topics: white-collar crime and personal finance. A story that combines the two is as irresistible as chocolate and peanut butter. read more >