Steele Stephens: Martha Shoffner Took $6K at Arkansas Capitol

by Chuck Bartels, The Associated Press  on Friday, Mar. 7, 2014 11:33 am  

Steele Stephens tells jurors at Martha Shoffner's bribery and extortion trial that he gave the state's former treasurer $6,000 at her Capitol office.

In earlier testimony, employees from the treasurer's office explained that Shoffner gave Stephens an advantage by allowing only him access to a list of holdings among brokers approved to deal with the state.

"I would meet her at her apartment at Rainwater Flats at night," Stephens said, adding they'd sit on a bench outside, smoke cigarettes and talk. At the end of the meeting, Shoffner would give him the list.

Stephens discussed Friday making $100 million trades, buying bonds for the treasurer's office. No other broker made state trades that large and Stephens said he broke them into $50 million trades in hope of sneaking the sums past state auditors.

"A $100 million trade — it would jump out of the page at you," Stephens said.

In testimony Thursday, her former employees complained that state profits were reduced by $434,000 after Shoffner approved trades that involved selling bonds before they matured.

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