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May 20, 2013

Little Rock - Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and Randall C. Coleman, Special Agent in Charge of the Little Rock Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced today that Arkansas State Treasurer Martha Shoffner, age 68, was charged by federal Complaint today with attempt and conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951(a). Shoffner was arrested on May 18, 2013, and appeared today before United States Magistrate Judge H. David Young for an initial appearance on the federal Complaint. Shoffner was released from custody.

The Complaint alleges that Shoffner obtained cash payments, to which she was not entitled, from an individual, with the individual's consent, knowing that the cash payments were made under color of official right, in return for official acts as Arkansas State Treasurer. The allegations in support of the criminal complaint are set forth in the complaint affidavit, attached.

If convicted, Shoffner faces not more than 20 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine, or both followed by not more than 3 years supervised release.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Jana Harris and Stephanie Mazzanti are prosecuting this case for the United States.

The charges set forth in a Complaint are merely allegations. A federal Grand Jury will decide whether to indict on these charges. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

(Complaint and Affidavit Supporting Complaint Adobe Icon Image)

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Christopher R. Thyer

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