UPDATE: Former State Senator Pleads Not Guilty to New Charges

UPDATE:

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) - A former state senator pleaded not guilty Sept. 27 to new charges stemming from fraud allegations. 

Former Sen. Jon Woods is accused of accepting kickbacks from Ecclesia College for giving grants to the university.  He is one of three defendants in the case. 

Woods is facing 15 counts of fraud--all related to wire or mail money transfers--as well as a charge of conspiracy to commit fraud, and one count of money laundering. 

His trial is set for Dec. 4 in Fayetteville. 

 

ORIGINAL:

 

BENTON COUNTY (KNWA) - Former Arkansas State Senator, Jon Woods, entered a not guilty plea to mail and wire fraud as well as bribery, Tuesday.

According to a federal indictment filed earlier this month, Woods and two other men were accused of funneling state money into an account at Ecclesia College in Springdale.

In turn, Woods and Oren Paris III would receive kickbacks from the school.

Paris, also indicted, is Ecclesia College's President.

The third man accused is Randall Shelton, Jr. 

He's listed in the indictment as part of a consulting company that was used to pay and conceal the kickbacks.

In January... Arkansas State Rep. Micah Neal pleaded guilty to sending state taxpayer money to non-profits in exchange for kickbacks.

He told the department of justice he conspired with an Arkansas state senator...

KNWA later discovered that senator was Jon Woods.

Neal still has to be sentenced and he faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.


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