- Associated Press - Thursday, July 9, 2015

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - An ex-bonds broker who was at the center of a corruption case against former Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner hasn’t made payments toward a $20,000 fine for violating regulatory laws, according to state Securities Commissioner Edmond Waters.

Securities regulators want a judge to force 54-year-old Steele Stephens of Little Rock to pay the penalty. They filed a complaint Wednesday in Pulaski County Circuit Court, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/1J6h2Qy ) reported. No hearing has been set.

Stephens earned $2.5 million in commissions in the 85 trades he conducted on behalf of the treasurer’s office between July 2009 and December 2012. Seven of them, which earned Stephens $121,979 in commissions between January 2011 and October 2011, were the focus of a Securities Department inquiry that fined and stripped him of his broker’s license.

Stephens was never criminally charged. He was granted immunity from federal prosecutors in exchange for cooperating in the investigation that led to ex-state Treasurer Martha Shoffner’s conviction.

An attorney who represented Stephens in court proceedings wasn’t available for comment. A phone number for Stephens couldn’t be found.

Shoffner was convicted last year of steering the investments to Stephens, who gave her $36,000 in cash, sometimes stashed in a pie box. She resigned in 2013, days after she was arrested by the FBI in a sting operation. She’s scheduled for sentencing next month.

Agency regulators had found that Stephens violated two securities laws by failing to disclose the amount of commission on a proposed sale before a bond matured and for the $36,000 in cash payments he made to Shoffner.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com

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