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U.S. attorney: Ex-exec pleads guilty in scheme to bribe former Arkansas senator

U.S. attorney: Ex-exec pleads guilty in scheme to bribe former Arkansas senator

June 12th, 2019 by Eric Besson / Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Arkansas News

A former executive of Arkansas' largest behavioral healthcare provider pleaded guilty Wednesday to participating in a conspiracy to bribe former state Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Western Missouri announced.

Robin Raveendran, 63, who worked for the Missouri-based nonprofit Preferred Family Healthcare from 2014-2017, said in his plea that he directed money provided by Preferred Family to pay Hutchinson in exchange for favorable legislative action, according to a news release.

The money was funneled through a private association called Alliance for Health Care, which Raveendran, Hutchinson and former Arkansas lobbyist Milton "Rusty" Cranford formed in 2014.

Cranford, another former Preferred Family executive, pleaded guilty a year ago to a federal bribery charge in Missouri.

Hutchinson has pleaded innocent to bribery and other charges in a separate case not set for trial until 2021.

A copy of Raveendran's plea agreement was not immediately available.

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