Lob­by­ist sen­tenced to 7 years in Ark. cor­rup­tion scheme

The Saline Courier - - NEWS -

SPRING­FIELD, Mo. — A lob­by­ist who pleaded guilty to brib­ing three for­mer Arkansas state law­mak­ers, in­clud­ing the gover­nor’s nephew, has been sen­tenced to seven years in prison with­out pa­role.

Rusty Cran­ford was sen­tenced in fed­eral court Mon­day for brib­ing Repub­li­can state Sen. Jon Woods, Demo­cratic state Rep. Hank Wilkins and Repub­li­can state

Sen. Jeremy Hutchin­son. Pros­e­cu­tors say Cran­ford paid the bribes to ben­e­fit the Mis­souri-based non­profit Pre­ferred Fam­ily Health­care, whose for­mer ex­ec­u­tives also face charges.

Of the law­mak­ers in­volved, Woods was con­victed and sen­tenced to 18 years in prison. Wilkins and Hutchin­son have both pleaded guilty and await sen­tenc­ing. Hutchin­son is the nephew of Arkansas’ Repub­li­can gover­nor, Asa Hutchin­son.

Cran­ford was also or­dered to re­pay more than $3.7 mil­lion that pros­e­cu­tors say he re­ceived in the scheme. Cran­ford faced up to ten years in prison.

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