Arkansas' Democrat State Treasurer Arrested for Extortion

On Saturday the FBI arrested two-term Arkansas State Treasurer Martha Shoffner (D-Newport) on charges of "extortion under color of official right," a violation of the Hobbs Act, which prohibits actual or attempted robbery or extortion affecting interstate or foreign commerce.

Shoffner has been under scrutiny in Arkansas for a seemingly unexplainable investment she made of state funds. After a legislative audit last year it came to light that in 2011 her office sold 11 bonds that had not matured and then bought similar bonds from the same brokers, resulting in a loss of more than $58,000 of the state's money.

Republicans have been clamoring for her resignation for sometime over this failed investment strategy.

In December of 2012, state authorities decided to hand over their investigation to federal authorities once it appeared that, along with the failed investing practices, Shoffner had also converted campaign funds to her personal use.

The Treasurer was arrested at her Newport home at 4:30 PM on Saturday, May 18, and is being held without bond in Pulaski County jail.

Neither Shoffner nor Governor Mike Beebe's office have commented on the arrest.

Shoffner will appear in court on Monday for a hearing.

Image: Arkansas State Treasury


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