By Steve Barnes
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Reuters) - A former Arkansas state treasurer was sentenced in a federal court on Friday to 30 months in prison for bribery in her handling of the state's bond portfolio.
Martha Shoffner, 71 and a Democrat, was convicted in 2014 on federal charges of bribery and extortion. A jury found she had accepted $31,000 in bribes in exchange for steering state business to a former securities salesman.
Prosecutors have said they were seeking 15 to 20 years in prison.
Some of the money was delivered to Shoffner in a pie box at her home, and other payments were made at her office in the state Capitol, prosecutors said.
Shoffner also was ordered to make restitution in the approximate amount of the bribes.
Shoffner, a former member of the state House of Representatives, resigned shortly after her arrest in 2013.
The broker, Steele Stephens, was granted immunity by the Justice Department in exchange for his cooperation with FBI agents. He subsequently was fined $25,000 by the Arkansas Securities Department and stripped of his license.
Stephens handled about $2 billion in Arkansas state bond business and earned $2.5 million in commissions during a three-year period ending in 2013. The court determined that $900,000 in commissions were linked to improper transactions.
(Reporting by Steve Barnes in Little Rock; Editing by Jon Herskovitz and Sandra Maler)