LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Former Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner was sentenced to 2 ½ years in prison on Friday following her conviction last year on federal bribery and extortion charges.
The Democrat was accused of steering state investments to a broker who gave her $36,000 in cash, some of which was delivered in a pie box. She resigned in 2013, days after she was arrested by FBI agents in a sting operation.
Her attorney, Chuck Banks, had argued that the 71-year-old Shoffner should receive a sentence of 12 to 18 months, with half in-home detention, because of her age. Banks also said Shoffner's faith, her remorse and the punishment of prosecution that she's "already endured" should be considered.
Federal prosecutors recommended a sentence of 15 to nearly 20 years in prison, saying a lighter sentence would send the wrong message about public corruption.
U.S. District Judge Leon Holmes handed down the sentence Friday.
Shoffner was arrested in May 2013 after an FBI raid at her Newport home, where agents said they found $6,000 that was delivered in a pie box by the broker, who was cooperating with authorities. She resigned days later.
Prosecutors used a $2.4 million figure in their presentencing report for the amount of money involved in the crimes because of the commissions the broker, Steele Stephens, received on the state investments.