Ted Suhl, owner of Lord's Ranch, indicted on bribery charges

Ted Suhl, owner of Lord's Ranch, indicted on bribery charges

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A federal ground jury Wednesday indicted Ted Suhl, 50, of Warm Springs for bribing a former deputy director of the Arkansas Department of Human Services.

The six-count indictment charges Suhl with conspiracy to commit bribery and honest service fraud, three counts of honest services fraud, one count federal funds bribery, and one count of interstate travel in aid of bribery.

The indictment alleges Suhl bribed Steven B. Jones, former deputy director of ADHS, to "perform acts in his official capacity that benefited Suhl and his mental health companies and to provide internal ADHS information to Suhl."

At the time, Suhl owned Trinity Behavioral Health (formerly Lord's Ranch) in Randolph County and Maxus.

Suhl, Jones and Phillip W. Carter, a former probation officer in Crittenden County and a former West Memphis city council member, reportedly met periodically at restaurants in Memphis and rural Arkansas in order for Suhl to request assistance from Jones.

In exchange for Jones' agreement to perform official acts, according to the indictment, Suhl allegedly paid Jones by issuing checks made payable to the pastor of Carter's church.

Carter and the pastor then deposited and cashed the checks in order to provide cash payments to Jones, according to a news release Thursday from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Arkansas.

Jones pleaded guilty in October 2014 to federal funds bribery and conspiracy for his involvement in the scheme.

Carter pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit federal funds bribery and honest services wire fraud in September of this year.

Both men are awaiting sentencing.

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