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story.lead_photo.caption 7/13/16 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/STEPHEN B. THORNTON Warm Springs businessman Ted Suhlexits the Federal Courthouse in downtown Little Rock surrounded by family on the first day of his federal bribery trial Wednesday. - Photo by Stephen B. Thornton

In an opinion released Thursday, the U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed the bribery conviction and six-year prison sentence of Arkansas businessman Ted Suhl.

Suhl, 52, was convicted in October 2016. Jurors found that he had paid bribes for four years to keep Steven B. Jones, then the deputy director of the state Department of Human Services, on a "retainer" to benefit Suhl's north Arkansas companies.

In its ruling, the court rejected Suhl's appeal, which argued that the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas improperly defined bribery when analyzing his indictment, committed evidentiary errors and unreasonably calculated the loss due to his bribery scheme, documents show.

Suhl's companies — Trinity Behavioral Health, formerly known as The Lord's Ranch in Warm Springs, and Maxus — provided behavioral health services for youths and received $125 million in state Medicaid funds between April 2007 and mid-September 2011.

U.S. Bureau of Prisons records show that Suhl was at a medical facility for federal prisoners in Springfield, Mo. as of Thursday afternoon. His release date is Feb. 5, 2023.

Read Friday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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