Health firm’s ex-CEO pleads guilty in Arkansas bribery case

Health firm’s ex-CEO pleads guilty in Arkansas bribery case

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A top executive at a Missouri mental health company has pleaded guilty to helping bribe Arkansas lawmakers to influence state legislation and boost company profits.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that court records show former Preferred Family Healthcare Inc. CEO Marilyn Nolan has pleaded guilty to conspiracy in federal court in Springfield, Missouri. She has admitted to stealing millions from the nonprofit with other executives.

Nolan is the highest-ranking executive to plead guilty in the political corruption investigation so far. Nolan's guilty plea names former Arkansas lobbyist Milton Russell Cranford, who has pleaded guilty to bribing convicted former state Sen. Jon Woods, former Rep. Henry Wilkins IV and an unidentified legislator, all of whom were also named in the plea.

Nolan outlines how the company violated federal laws prohibiting nonprofits from making campaign contributions or participating in lobbying.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com