President Trump granted clemency Monday for seven people convicted of crimes ranging from drug trafficking to weapons charges, including an Arkansas man who was accused of Medicaid fraud in connection with his faith-based health treatment center.
Mr. Trump decided they were deserving of clemency “after a careful review of their files,” the White House said.
“Through these full and unconditional pardons, the federal rights of these men, including the right to vote and the right to bear arms, have been fully restored,” the White House said in a statement. “Today, they are once again full and equal citizens under the law.”
The men include Ted Suhl of Arkansas, whose commutation was advocated by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins. The Arkansas Times described Mr. Suhl last year as a friend of Mr. Huckabee who gave money to legislative campaigns and served on the state’s child welfare board.
Mr. Suhl ran faith-based behavioral health care treatment centers for juveniles in Arkansas; investigators accused him of taking part in a bribery scheme to increase Medicaid payments to his company.
From 2007 to 2011, Mr. Suhl’s companies received about $125 million in Medicaid reimbursements from the state through the Arkansas Department of Human Services. According to the Arkansas Times, the prosecution accused Mr. Suhl of funneling money to a top administrator at DHS and former legislator, Steven Jones, through a middleman.
The White House noted that federal prosecutors in Arkansas declined to pursue the case, “but prosecutors in Washington decided to move forward with the prosecution.”
“Although acquitted on half of the charges filed against him, he was sentenced to seven years in prison,” the White House said.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham’s statement said Mr. Suhl “was a pillar of his community before his prosecution and a generous contributor to several charities.” She said he has been a “model prisoner” with a “spotless” disciplinary record.
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