A Van Buren man accused of stealing more than $120,000 from the Crawford County Conservation League pleaded guilty on Monday in Crawford County Circuit Court.
Nolan Broyles, 66, had a 20-year prison sentence suspended on the condition he pay $121,900 in restitution at the rate of $250 a month beginning June 18.
Judge Mike Medlock also ordered Broyles to pay a $500 fine, $170 court costs and $250 fee for DNA sampling.
Broyles was arrested Jan. 12, 2017, alleging he converted more than $120,000 in CCCL funds to his personal use.
Prosecuting Attorney Marc McCune said the City of Van Buren paid the conservation league $91,900 in 2011 for the widening of Rena Road. Instead of depositing the check in the league’s US Bank account, Broyles opened a new account at Liberty Bank in the name of Lake Lou Emma LCC on Jan. 13, 2011, where he deposited the $91,900 check a few weeks later, McCune said.
Broyles told Van Buren Police Department Detective Donald Eversole he opened the new account so as not to get the $91,900 confused with other league money.
Eversole also said it is alleged that Broyles converted another $30,000 in league money from rent from McDonald’s, a fireworks stand and snow cone business to his personal use.
McCune said Broyles wrote checks to himself, his business, including one for $15,000 to RVFSE for a range hood, and to Clyde Shepard, who died in 2015.
When Broyles was arrested, he told Eversole he was president of the league and had an agreement with the board that he could use CCCL funds for his personal use since he took care of the maintenance for Lake Lou Emma, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
Eversole said he contacted 20-year board member C.W. Jones who said that the board has no such agreement with Broyles.
Lake Lou Emma is located on Arkansas 59 on the north side of Van Buren. However, it is located in Crawford County since it has never been annexed into the city.
Eversole said he began his investigation into the reported thefts when Nakia Crims with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and a newly appointed league board member began to question CCCL finances and bank statements.
Chief Deputy Robert Presley prosecuted the case. Broyles was represented by the public defender’s office.