The guilty jury verdict announced late Tuesday in the case of former Treasurer Martha Shoffner vindicated for some a year-long investigation. Shoffner was found guilty on all 14 counts of extortion and bribery and faces up to 20 years in prison.
U.S. Attorney Christopher Thyer’s office sought the indictment and prosecuted the case. Thyer said the severity of Shoffner’s sentence is still being determined.
“We are just now getting into that right now as far as what the sentencing guidelines will go in this case. We have obviously not seen the pre-sentence reports yet, that will be done in the coming days and weeks. Ultimately that sentence will be up to Judge Holmes,” said Thyer.
Broker Steele Stephens was given immunity in exchange for testifying Shoffner steered state business his way in exchange for $36,000 in cash payments delivered in pie boxes. Thyer said the fate of millions of dollars Stephens acquired through illegal deals is still uncertain and is beyond his office’s jurisdiction. While Shoffner faces the prospect of a prison sentence she also awaits a separate trial at the end of this month.
“The basics of the allegation as set forth by the grand jury are that Miss Shoffner was using money that belonged to her campaign for personal expenses,” said Thyer.
The trial is scheduled to begin March 31 but defense attorney Chuck Banks has requested it be postponed due to a schedule conflict and Judge Holmes has indicated he may grant the delay.