State Auditor Confirms Criminal Investigation of Martha Shoffner

The Arkansas News Bureau has confirmed an Arkansas Business report Monday that says state Treasurer Martha Shoffner had been under criminal investigation for more than a year when, on Dec. 14, the Legislative Joint Auditing Committee voted to refer an audit of her office to state and federal authorities.

From Rob Moritz's story:

Jon Moore, deputy state legislative auditor, said an auditor working on an audit of Shoffner’s sale of state bonds was approached about a year ago by a federal investigator seeking information.

"They wanted to talk to one of our employees," Moore said. "I think they were just wanting some information about the investments and wanted to see what we had already done in calculating returns and that sort of thing."

Still no comment from Shoffner's office.

This fits with what we reported in our Monday print edition (which you can read in full here). Some believe Shoffner's testimony under oath before the legislative committee is an extension of that probe, which now includes the FBI. (The FBI has a policy of neither confirming nor denying investigations.)

Investigators are examining more than Shoffner’s financial dealings with bond brokers doing business with the State Treasurer’s Office, according to sources Arkansas Business spoke to who were interviewed by the FBI. They also are delving into allegations she converted political campaign funds to personal income.

You can read our full story here, and read the Arkansas News Bureau follow here.