Many have read sprinkles of press releases from the justice department regarding arrests and indictments coming out of Arkansas, but few have observed the magnitude of this swamp creature and all its tentacles. They rarely tie the individuals into the big picture in these press releases, so oftentimes, it’s a quick, “yay, another swamp creature down,” without realizing they all connect. Aside from local news outlets in Arkansas, that require paid subscriptions to read the news, the Arkansas swamp is getting little to no coverage.
Remember the plane full of documents in Little Rock? Everyone was speculating as to who/what it could be about, and hoping it had to do with the Clinton Foundation investigations. Is it possibly connected to this ongoing investigation into legislator fraud? In August 2018, Deputy Attorney General Lloyd Warford, said that investigators have at least 4 million documents in a vault and another 200 gigabytes of information they have collected from the Department of Human Services. Warford also confirmed that more lawmakers are under investigation by the state, in cooperation with the federal investigation. They have already convicted over a dozen individuals in one case alone, several of which are former or current legislators, one former senator has already begun his 18-year prison sentence, and there are a slew of other individuals listed in indictments. It is quite an extensive list below.
Furthermore, on January 4, 2018, the Justice Department launched a new inquiry into whether the Clinton Foundation engaged in any pay-to-play politics or other illegal activities while Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State. As far back as October 31, 2016, The Wall Street Journal reported that FBI field offices in New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Little Rock had been collecting information on the charity for more than a year. That’s an interesting timeline, as that aligns with when the Arkansas swamp case emerged as well. Apparently, the L.A. office had gathered information about the foundation in an unrelated public-corruption case. Interestingly, lower-level FBI agents stated that McCabe instructed them to stand down. One might speculate, there have been Clinton Foundation investigative documents compiled from multiple states, going back to 2015, and those documents were placed into the appropriate hands in 2017. That’s quite a head start.
Coincidentally, the more recent Clinton Foundation probe was also examining whether any tax-exempt assets were converted for personal or political use, and if the foundation complied with applicable tax laws. Why is this a coincidence? These areas of investigation are precisely what they have been investigating with other elected officials and appointed officials in the Arkansas swamp cases. Do these investigations overlap or perhaps tie together somewhere along the rope? Hard to say just yet. One thing is for certain – they are hunting webs. These are not single criminal incidents. They are going after the networks. What does this mean? This is not about flinging snowballs, this is about creating an avalanche. The question is, who all will be rolled up in this snowstorm?
The Clintons Are Circling The Drain
1) The turn of events that are coming up over the next several weeks are quite timely. Sara Carter recently reported:
“House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) notified colleagues last week that he will subpoena Comey for a closed-door deposition Nov. 29 and Lynch for Dec. 5, as part of the investigation into the FBI and DOJ’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe and the Russia investigation.”
2) Meanwhile, Judicial Watch saw yet another victory in their ongoing case against the U.S. Department of State:
“Judicial Watch announced today that U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ruled that within 30 days Hillary Clinton must answer under oath two additional questions about her controversial email system.”
Q 1: Describe the creation of the clintonemail.com system, including who decided to create the system, the date it was decided to create the system, why it was created, who set it up, and when it became operational.
Q 2: During your October 22, 2015 appearance before the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Benghazi, you testified that 90 to 95 percent of your emails “were in the State’s system” and “if they wanted to see them, they would certainly have been able to do so.” Identify the basis for this statement, including all facts on which you relied in support of the statement, how and when you became aware of these facts, and, if you were made aware of these facts by or through another person, identify the person who made you aware of these facts.
3) By far, the biggest bombshell, published by The Hill, was the announcement of the GOP holding a hearing on December 5th into the DOJ’s probe of the Clinton Foundation. The timing is simply divine, with Sessions stepping down, Whitaker stepping up, and Huber stepping in.
“Mr. Huber with the Department of Justice and FBI has been having an investigation — at least part of his task was to look at the Clinton Foundation and what may or may not have happened as it relates to improper activity with that charitable foundation, so we’ve set a hearing date for December the 5th,” he told Hill.TV during an interview on Wednesday.
Sessions appointed Huber last year to work in tandem with the Justice Department to look into conservative claims of misconduct at the FBI and review several issues surrounding the Clintons. This includes former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s ties to a Russian nuclear agency and concerns about the Clinton Foundation.
Huber’s work has remained shrouded in mystery. But Meadows said the committee thinks it’s time Huber gives an update to Congress about his findings and expects him to be one of the witnesses at the hearing.
“We’re just now starting to work with a couple of whistleblowers that would indicate that there is a great probability of significant improper activity that’s happening in and around the Clinton Foundation,” he said.
The foundation meanwhile has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
4) One surprise drop on November 16, 2018, was ABC News, reporting that nearly three dozen sealed criminal indictments have been added to the Washington D.C. docket since the start of 2018, fourteen of which were added since late August alone. Though these sealed indictments certainly don’t come as a great shock to many, it’s the timeline that is key here. Until they are unsealed, the names remain a mystery.
5) The Clintons’ 2017 tax returns are out, indicating a 90% decrease in donations between 2014-2017, declining from $182.5 million to $22.8 million in 2017. This is very telling, being as she lost the ability for pay-to-play schemes, since she didn’t win the presidential election. Also, it would be a grave mistake to donate to the Clintons with ongoing investigations. Keep in mind, the Clinton Foundation is not their only cash cow. They have 50 organizations, foundations, shell companies, initiatives, and LLCs, with some documented as being in other countries. Despite their creative ways of moving cash flow around, it’s still a very good sign that donors are taking a step back from the Clinton Foundation.
Charles Ortel, a brilliant financial analyst, who has dissected the Clinton’s tax returns year after year, exposing the inconsistencies and illegal filings, had this to say:
Corey: In light of all of the investigations currently taking place with the Clinton Foundation, Hillary Clinton’s emails, involvement with the Russia scandal, Uranium One, and Weiner’s laptop, what is your feeling on future indictments?
Charles: Former Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL) and Steve Stockman (R-TX) have each been convicted for separate charity frauds of about $1 million each. Brown is currently serving a 5-year federal prison term while Stockman just received a 10-year federal prison term.
Charity frauds of the scale attempted by the Clintons must be completely investigated and exposed. To restore balance and equity in the administration of justice, all parties involved in the Clinton charity frauds must be indicted, tried, ideally convicted, and then sentenced to federal prisons. This group should include Trustees, Directors, Executives and professional advisors. It may also include certain substantial donors who must have known better.
If indictments do not happen, then we will learn, sadly that “the fix is in”, even under the Trump Administration.
Consider the timing and implications of all of the above, while reviewing what’s been transpiring with the Arkansas swamp. Are the walls closing in on the Clintons? It sure feels like the Clintons are circling the drain.
The Swamp is Deep
HUGE Non-profit Healthcare Scandal in Arkansas Swamp Tied to Multiple Legislators
Once upon a time, back in 2009, a non-profit healthcare company emerged in Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Illinois, and Kansas, by the name of Alternative Opportunities Inc. Servicing those with mental and behavioral health issues, substance use, developmental disabilities, child welfare, medical services, and even employment services, they later merged with Preferred Family Healthcare (PFH) in 2015. The executives behind both companies turned out to be quite the fraudsters, working with senators and lobbyists to benefit from legislation, and to get away with tax scandals the IRS wouldn’t flag. From fundraisers to embezzlement, Medicaid fraud to channeling money through churches, creating “shell bills” to manipulating fellow legislators, and steering government funds, these characters are a motley crew, chock-full of the dirtiest lobbyists a swamp can spit out. One lobbyist even attempted murder-for-hire against another lobbyist, to save his tail from yet another conviction.
This is a massive scale scandal that federal investigators have been focusing on and chipping away at since 2015, with indictments and guilty pleas rolling in throughout 2017 and 2018. In fact, this swamp is so vast, it expands to over 20 individuals, 6 former senators from Arkansas and Missouri, 3 executive branch officials, law firms, companies, entities, 4 lobbying firms, and over 10 employees of a non-profit, all listed in the indictments thus far. The state suspended PFH’s Medicaid program as investigations ensued, after PFH had been receiving $36 million a year from the state to provide services at 45 sites in Arkansas. PFH attempted to sell its Arkansas operations, but the deal fell through.
In reviewing the indictments, and cross-referencing to the key chart created below, it feels rather like trying to combine Monopoly, Clue, and Chess all into one game. It’s a bit of a who done it, from which company, in what state, and who’s going to jail next. The key chart is a work in progress, and will continue to be filled in as this case progresses and more details are released.
The Swamp List
11/13/18 – Marilyn Luann Nolan [Person #3], Springfield, MO
Chief Executive Director of PFH
Pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to embezzle and misapply the funds of a charitable organization that received federal funds. Multi-million-dollar political corruption scheme that involved bribes and campaign contributions for elected public officials in Missouri and Arkansas. The general allegations and plea agreementindicate a number of other individuals and companies yet to be charged, as well as some who have been charged, and are listed below.
10/9/18 – Vicki A. Chisam, Batesville, AR
Billing Clerk of PFH
Charged with Medicaid fraud. Trial pending.
9/12/18 – Keith Fraser Noble [Person #5], Rogersville, MO
Chief Clinical Officer of PFH – Licensed psychologist and certified substance abuse counselor
Pleaded guilty on one count of concealment of a known felony. Embezzled, stored and misapplied funds totaling more than $30 million.
8/31/18 – Jeremy Hutchinson [AR Senator A], Little Rock, AR
Then current Senator (R-AR), Chairman of State Senate Judiciary Committee, and attorney retained by PFH
12-count indictment for devising a scheme to steal thousands of dollars in campaign contributions, and falsifying campaign finance reports and tax filings. His trial has been delayed to July, 2019. He has been implicated but not charged in the PFH case as well.
8/21/18 – Helen Balding [Person #8], Batesville, AR
Billing Director of PFH
Arrested on two felony counts of Medicaid fraud for allegedly making false statements that caused the Arkansas Medicaid Program to overpay PFH $2.2 million from January 2015 to October 2017. Fraudulently billed the free insurance program for children and low-income Arkansans.
6/29/18 – Robin Raveendran [Person #9], Little Rock, AR
Former Medicaid Integrity Director at DHS
Arrested on two felony counts of Medicaid fraud. He told PFH employees by email to file forged claims totaling $2.3 million between January 2015 and October 2017. Raveendran and Cranford are close associates. The full scope of their relationship is the subject of an ongoing investigation involving multiple companies. Trial is set for January 9, 2019.
6/7/18 – Milton Russell (Rusty) Cranford [Person #4], Rogers, AR
Former executive and board member of PFH and Arkansas Lobbyist
Operated 3 lobbying firms: The Cranford Coalition, The Capital Hill Coalition, Outcomes of Arkansas
Indicted and pleaded guilty to one count of federal program bribery detailed in this plea agreement. Cranford bribed Arkansas elected officials in a multi-million-dollar scheme, plus embezzled millions of dollars from PFH, working with PFH executives, Jonathan Woods, Henry Wilkins IV, Eddie Wayne Cooper, and Donald Andrew Jones. He also worked with APPOINTED officials on legislation to help the charity, as well as steering grants and other sources of funding to the charity.
Cranford is a central figure in other ongoing investigations as well. Cranford’s connections filter straight into the Clintons. Future indictments and connections will all be rolled up in a follow-up article.
SECOND CASE: Cranford is also accused of giving kickbacks to Jonathan Woods and Micha Neal, in which they funneled $400,000 in state grants to AmeriWorks, a company of Cranford’s. Woods and Neal are both listed below under the College case as well.
THIRD CASE: Murder-for-Hire – Cranford tried to arrange the murder of Donald Jones to prevent him from testifying about the kickbacks Cranford was receiving. Jones has pleaded guilty for his role in the bribery schemes, and his sentence is pending.
4/30/18 – Henry Wilkins IV [Arkansas Senator C], Pine Bluff, AR
Former (D-AR) State Senator District 5 from 2001-2011, former (D-AR) State Representative House District 17 from 1999-2001 and 2011-2015, former Jefferson County Judge
Pleaded guilty on April 30, 2018 to conspiracy to commit offences against the United States, accepting over $80,000 in bribes in exchange for influencing Arkansas state legislation and transactions, including steering approximately $245,000 in Arkansas General Improvement funds to his co-conspirators, and to devising a scheme to conceal the bribe payments as donations to St. James United Methodist Church in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, where Wilkins also served as a pastor. While serving the Arkansas General Assembly from 2010-2014, Wilkins admits to accepting a series of bribes from lobbyists and non-profit organizations, in exchange for filing shell bills, sponsoring full bills, and voting in favor of specific legislation. Sentencing has been delayed to December 7, 2018.
The Wilkins family has been enmeshed in politics throughout three generations. There are very interesting connections to the Clintons, which will be rolled up in a follow-up article to include future indictments.
2/12/18 – Eddie Wayne Cooper [Person #7], Melbourne, AR
Former, 3-time Democratic state representative from 2006-2011 and registered lobbyist
Pleaded guilty on one count of conspiracy to embezzle more than $4 million from PFH. Cooper received $387,501 from a lobbying firm (Cranford’s) and at least $63,000 in kickbacks.
12/18/17 – Donald Andrew Jones (D.A. Jones) – D.A. Jones & Associates, Philadelphia, PA
Waived his right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty for participating in a conspiracy from 4/11–1/17. Conspiring with former Arkansas state legislator and PFH to spend nearly $1 million on illegal political activity and kickbacks to conspirators. Paid $973,807 by PFH. Sentencing pending.
6/12/17 – David Carl Hayes, Springfield, MO
Served on the board of Alternative Opportunities (now PFH) from 2006-2011, coordinator of merger and acquisition activity from 2006-2013, and internal auditor from 2011-2013
Swamp Scandal with Former Arkansas Legislators and Local College
In a nutshell, this is a classic kickback scheme, utilizing their positions to direct government money (General Improvement Funds – GIF), to Ecclesia College in exchange for kickbacks. A consulting company, a college president, a former state senator, and a former state representative were all involved in this scheme.
However, there were ten other current or former legislators who also directed state grants to Ecclesia College between 2013-2015, that were listed on a witness list containing 160 witnesses. The witness list consisted of at least two of the state’s constitutional officers and 22 current or former legislators. A judge, who was once on the Ecclesia’s governing board, as well as two mayors, were also named as potential witnesses. This begs the question, wouldn’t a witness in a situation such as this, be considered complicit, whether they were involved in directing the funds or not?
Not surprising, former State Senator Jonathan Woods had a little help from an FBI agent, trying to protect him, which turned out to be an epic fail, being as Jonathan was sentenced to more than 18 years in prison.
Kees said he couldn’t comment on the investigation into the actions of another agent in this case: FBI Special Agent Robert Cessario. Cessario was placed under investigation by the FBI’s Office of the Inspector General after he admitted wiping the hard drive of a computer used to gather evidence in the case against Woods.
5/3/18 – Jonathan E. Woods, Springdale, AR
Former (R-AR) State Senator from 2013-2017, former (R-AR) House of Representatives from 2007-2013
Found guilty of 15 federal counts for his collusion in a kickback scheme, involving Oren Paris III, the president of Ecclesia College in Springdale, AR, for conspiracy, honest services wire and mail fraud, and money laundering. Must pay restitution of $1,621,500 to the State of Arkansas and two districts, as well as forfeit $1,097,005. Sentenced on September 5, 2018 to more than 18 years in prison for bribery scheme. Woods had organized and lead bribery schemes in which state funds were directed to non-profit entities in exchange for kickbacks, many of which were funneled through a consultant’s (Randell G. Shelton Jr.) business.
SECONDARY CASE: Woods is also accused of taking a kickback from Milton Russell “Rusty” Cranford, in which they funneled $400,000 in state grants to AmeriWorks, a company of Cranford’s. Rusty Cranford is listed above under the PFH case as well.
5/3/18 – Randell G. Shelton Jr., Alma, AR
Sentenced in September – found guilty and convicted of 12 counts, including conspiracy and honest services wire and mail fraud. Convicted of corruption with Woods, serving a six-year sentence.
4/5/18 – Oren Paris III, Springdale, AR
Former President of Eccelsia College
Pleaded guilty to one count of honest services wire fraud. Sentenced on September 12, 2018 to 3 years in Federal prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $651,500.00 in restitution. Jonathan Woods and Micah Neal used their positions to appropriate and direct government money (General Improvement Funds – GIF) of $600,000 to two non-profits, Eccelsia College receiving $400,000 of the funds. Both Woods and Neal received bribes from Oren Paris of Eccelsia College.
1/4/17 – Micah Neal, Springdale, AR
Former Arkansas State Representative
Pleaded guilty on January 4, 2017 to one count of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, and was sentenced in September to three probation, with the first year to be served as home confinement, for wire fraud. Neal operated with Jonathon Woods to utilize their positions by directing government money (General Improvement Funds – GIF) to two non-profits, and accepting bribes.
SECONDARY CASE: Neal is also accused of taking a kickback from Milton Russell “Rusty” Cranford, in which they funneled $400,000 in state grants to AmeriWorks, a company of Cranford’s. Rusty Cranford is listed above under the PFH case as well.
Other Arkansas Swamp Creatures Plus Rusty Cranford Strikes Again
Former Mayor Gregory Pectol and wife Candace were just indicted on numerous charges in plot to scam banks, and are scheduled to appear in court on November 27, 2018. Gregory Pectol used his farmland in northeast Arkansas to grow commercial crops, including wheat, soybeans, and rice. He sold his crops to Riceland Foods Inc. and maintained membership and marketing agreements with Riceland, but did not inform them of liens in this bank loan scheme. Investigator said that Candace Pectol attempted to delay and prevent a witness from testifying before the federal grand jury on three separate dates.
Former Executive Director of Non-Profit, Jerry Walsh plead guilty on July 19, 2018 to conspiring to divert over $380,000 from South Arkansas Youth Services (SAYS). The scheme involved steering the non-profit’s funds to an Arkansas state senator C# (Henry Wilkins IV) and the lobbying firm of convicted lobbyist Rusty Cranford, in exchange for the senator agreeing to influence Arkansas officials regarding state contracts with DHS and DYS.
Former Senator Jake Files sentenced on June 18, 2018 to 18 months in prison for orchestrating a scheme to obtain approximately $46,500 in state government funds through fraudulent means, and for obtaining $56,700 in loan proceeds, also through fraudulent means.
Circuit Judge Mike Maggio began his 10-year sentence for accepting a bribe in exchange for reducing a negligence verdict against a company in Conway, AR, on July 19, 2017. The company they are referencing is Michael Morton’s nursing homes. Morton owns 63 nursing homes in Arkansas, and contributed to countless campaigns throughout the years. David Norsworthy is part-owner in some of these nursing homes. It would stand to reason, they are likely on the chopping block as well.
Former Deputy Director of Arkansas Department of Human Services, Steven B. Jones was sentenced on February 18, 2016, to 30 months in prison for engaging in a bribery scheme with Phillip Carter, involving the owner (Theodore Suhl) of two mental health companies that provided inpatient and outpatient services to juveniles. They accepted “multiple cash payments and other things of value from Suhl.”
Former Probation Officer, Phillip Carter worked with Steven B. Jones and a local pastor in funneling the money through the pastor’s church, for the bribery scheme with Theodore Suhl. Carter was sentenced to 24 months in prison. Interestingly, Suhl took the biggest hit, with an 84-month prison sentence, and was convicted for federal funds bribery, honest services fraud, and interstate travel in aid of bribery. It would seem the officials that were charged in this case should have taken the bigger hit. It makes one wonder what the “interstate travel in aid of bribery” was about?
Wife of Former Mayor Murder-For-Hire Case, Stephanie Rogers of Monticello, a former political candidate and wife of former Mayor Joe Rogers, plotted to kill his ex-wife and Rogers himself in October 2018, in order to inherit his business and collect a life insurance policy.
Draining The Swamp
Most certainly, some of these people have connections, and quite possibly “dealings” with the Clintons. In fact, some of those connections have already been made, and will be rolled up into a follow-up article, along with future indictments. As indicated in both the PFH case and the college case, a lot more arrests are coming down the pike, and their investigations continue to expand. Remember, this is focused on the Arkansas swamp sinking, but make no mistake, swamps span this country, and others are sinking as well.
That said, it’s important to note that several prison sentences indicated above are far too weak for the crimes. How is it that elected officials are not held to a higher standard when it comes to criminal acts against this country? When these officials are playing with legislation to serve their friends for kickbacks, while draining our pockets, should this not warrant a stronger sentence? Why did one man receive an 84-month prison sentence for bribing officials, when the former director of DHS only received 30-months for accepting cash payments and “other things of value” from this man? Perhaps if they faced harsher sentences, this might prevent a lot of the criminal activity taking place across this swampland.
Taking that one step further, why are there not laws in place stating that those with felony convictions cannot run for office? By law, when a citizen applies for a job, they must check the “felony” box if they have a criminal record, making it near impossible to obtain a decent position. While this is totally justifiable, shouldn’t similar rules apply for those “lawmakers” trying to run the country, and on the flipside, why would people vote them in? That said, the GOP recently proposed rules for House GOP members that would force any Republican indicted on a felony “for which a sentence of two or more years imprisonment may be imposed” would be required to resign immediately. This is a good start, but this still doesn’t address the fact that those with felonies can make it on a ballot, nor has the DNC stepped up with the same rules the GOP is proposing. Bottom line, many of the lawmakers making the laws, are in fact the criminals, and it’s time the laws change.
The Clintons have gotten away with murder for decades, while their Arkansas swamp covered for them. Everyone has watched them branch out and grow, scooping up FBI agents, state department officials, IRS, CDC, lawmakers, and deep state affiliates from across the globe, while they walked on swamp water, completely untouchable. That ends now. The swamps are draining, the pressure is on, and they are circling the drain. This time, they will find themselves at the bottom of the swamp. Former Arkansas Senator Jonathan Woods is serving an 18-year prison sentence for outrageous kickback schemes and money laundering that don’t hold a candle to the level of crimes the Clintons have carried out. A life sentence would be generous. As they circle the drain, let’s pray that justice will be served, and they will receive time well deserved.