Details on Broker Dealings Revealed in Shoffner Trial

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LITTLE ROCK, AR – A Federal Court jury is getting ready to hear the wiretap conversations between former Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner and state broker Steele Stephens.

Stephens is the broker for St. Bernard Financial Services in Russellville. This is the company that got a majority of the state’s business during Shoffner’s tenure.

On the stand today was Janice Lewis, Shoffner’s former executive assistant. She told the court that Steele had over $500M in bonds with the state.

The broker with the next closest amount had $220M worth on Oct. 25, 2011.

Also revealed in court today, information that Steele made campaign contributions to Shoffner and helped pay for watch parties. 

One of the parties took place in Nov. 2011, where Steele paid $4,700 for the party at the Wyndham Hotel but it cost only $3,700. Steele reportedly said to “Give the rest to Martha.”

Steele would also give Shoffner payments for her living arrangements every six months or so, totalling $6K, and made deliveries at her home in Newport, her apartment in Little Rock, or her office at the Capitol.

In return, Shoffner gave him updates on the state’s entire portfolio so he had the drop on all the other brokers like rates of bonds, and when they matured. 

Shoffner would give Steele this information outside of her apartment complex after they hugged, slipping him an envelope that he would put in his coat.

Stephens also reportedly bought Shoffner a GoPhone because she was “…paranoid about using a state-issued cellphone.”

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