Former Preferred Family Healthcare Inc. executives Bontiea and Tom Goss have pleaded guilty to their roles in a multimillion-dollar public corruption scheme involving embezzlement and bribes.
Bontiea Goss, the Springfield nonprofit's former chief operating officer, pleaded guilty to paying bribes and kickbacks to elected public officials in Arkansas, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice. Tom Goss, who served as the nonprofit's chief financial officer, pleaded guilty to embezzling funds from the charity, as well as providing bribes and kickbacks to Arkansas elected public officials.
As part of their guilty pleas, the Gosses agreed to forfeit up to $4.3 million to the government, depending on their sentencing at a later date.
The Gosses were indicted in 2019 for the embezzlement and public corruption scheme that involved officials such as former Arkansas state Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson, according to past reporting. Former PFH CEO Marilyn Nolan and clinical operations leader Keith Noble also are among former executives who have pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme.
PFH, which fired the Gosses and other executives in the wake of the scandal, in April agreed to pay more than $8 million as part of a nonprosecution agreement reached with the federal government and the state of Arkansas.
Additionally, the Gosses in August were named in a nonprosecution agreement reached between the federal government and Springfield business Pro1 IAQ Inc., for which they were executives, Springfield Business Journal previously reported. Teresa Moore, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri, said at the time that "company owners and executives abused their leadership positions in an unrelated charity to illegally enrich themselves and their for-profit company."
Plans for the Finley Ridge apartment complex in the growing community of Ozark call for four buildings, four stories apiece, with 48 units each for a total of 192, as well as a 1,500-square-foot shared community and fitness room.