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The former chief clinical officer of Preferred Family Health Care, above, pleads guilty to one count of concealment of a known felony.
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The former chief clinical officer of Preferred Family Health Care, above, pleads guilty to one count of concealment of a known felony.

Former PFH chief clinical officer pleads guilty to concealing scheme

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Former Preferred Family Healthcare Chief Clinical Officer Keith Noble pleaded guilty this week to his role in an embezzlement scheme at the embattled nonprofit.

Noble, 68, of Rogersville, admitted to engaging in one count of concealment of a known felony, according to a news release from the office of Timothy Garrison, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri.

Noble, who oversaw PFH’s clinical operations, quality control, and clinical and medical grant proposals, in his Sept. 11 guilty plea admitted he knew three other executives from the nonprofit conspired and agreed to take part in an embezzlement scheme. Through the scheme, the executives caused the organization to misuse nearly $1 million worth of charitable and government funding.

In his guilty plea, Noble said he knew the others were embezzling funds but willfully blinded himself to the scheme’s details while reaping the benefits. He did not inform the nonprofit’s board of directors or law enforcement about the crimes, and he admitted to preparing grant applications to the federal government he knew falsely certified its compliance with lobbying restrictions, according to the release.

In the scheme through which conspirators embezzled, stole or misapplied more than $30 million in funds, Noble admitted his personal share came to $4.3 million. He agreed to pay that amount back in restitution as part of his guilty plea.

Under federal statutes, Noble could face up to three years in federal prison without parole. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of the presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office, according to the release.

A handful of others tied to PFH already have pleaded guilty for their roles in the scheme involving illegal political activities and kickbacks. Former Chief Operations Officer Bontiea Goss, her husband and company Chief Financial Officer Tom Goss, and CEO Marilyn Nolan have been implicated but not charged, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.

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