Attorney Seeks to Have Shoffner Extortion, Bribery Charges Dismissed

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The attorney for former Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner is seeking to dismiss the extortion and bribery charges filed against her.

An 11-page brief was filed late this afternoon in Federal Court in Little Rock asking a judge to throw out the case.

The motion claims the 14 charges filed against Shoffner are groundless and that the court does not have the jurisdiction to address the allegations.

The filing says in part:
"The government’s extortion case against the Defendant, Martha Shoffner, is based on her obtaining of cash in the amount of $36,000.00 from an individual, referred to in the Indictment as a “broker.” Counts 1-7 of the indictment provide that the Defendant obtained this money from an individual and do not assert that the $36,000.00 was commercial property or the funds of a business involved in interstate commerce. Since the Hobbs Act Case Law is clear that the assets of a business involved in interstate commerce must be impacted to sustain a Federal prosecution of extortion or bribery, Counts 1-7 of the Indictment are deficient and should be dismissed in accordance with Rule 12(b)(3) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. It must be noted that the Hobbs Act requirement of an impact on a “business” is based on the limitations of Federal Commerce Clause power and jurisdiction. As such, this Court lacks Jurisdiction over the prosecution of intrastate “extortion” activity by this Defendant, as the Indicted activity has not been charged to have an actual and significant affect upon interstate commerce."

See the attached brief for more information.

Shoffner's trial is set to start on March 3.

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