College President Pleads Guilty Before Arkansas Fraud Trial - Higher Education
Higher Education News and Jobs

College President Pleads Guilty Before Arkansas Fraud Trial

by Associated Press

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The president of a Christian college in Springdale pleaded guilty to a fraud charge Wednesday, admitting he took part in what prosecutors called a kickback scheme involving his school.

Oren Paris III had faced a trial Monday with former state Sen. Jon Woods and consultant Randell Shelton. Instead, the president of Ecclesia College pleaded guilty in federal court.

Prosecutors say Paris paid kickbacks to Woods and then-Rep. Micah Neal in return for $550,000 in state grants in 2013-14, using Shelton’s consulting firm as a go-between. Neal pleaded guilty last year but has not been sentenced.

Woods, a Republican, faces 15 fraud counts while Paris and Shelton were named in 14 counts. The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported Paris pleaded guilty to a fraud charge Wednesday. All had been charged with conspiracy, and Woods also faces a money-laundering charge.

Paris plead guilty to transferring $50,000 of $200,000 in grant money from Woods and Neal to Shelton. Shelton sent $40,000 of the money to Woods as a kickback, according to Paris’ plea.

In addition to pleading guilty, Paris quit as the college president and resigned from the board of the school his father founded. Woods and Shelton have each pleaded not guilty.

RELATED ARTICLES >>
For-Profit College Probes Fuel Rise in Consumer-Protection Sentiments Amid new efforts to reinvigorate lethargic federal investigations of for-profit colleges, some academics who study higher education see the issue as a harbinger of wider conflict and change. Betsy DeVos New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Gr...
KU Provost Leaving for University of Louisville LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The University of Louisville has hired the University of Kansas' provost as its new president.U of L trustees voted during a special meeting Tuesday to hire Dr. Neeli Bendapudi, completing a nationwide search for the next leader o...
Study Reports Wide Gender Disparity Among MSI Presidents A new report from the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) at the University of Pennsylvania explores the dearth of women in presidential positions at Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). While approximately 50 percent of college ...
Cybersecurity Expert Named President at Carnegie Mellon PITTSBURGH  - Carnegie Mellon University has named a cybersecurity expert as its new president. The Pittsburgh university of about 14,500 students has announced that Farnam Jahanian has been appointed the college's 10th president. Jahanian join...
Semantic Tags: