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Shoffner faces Feb. 27 court hearing on mail fraud charges

A Feb. 27 hearing has been set for former state Treasurer Martha Shoffner, who was indicted last week on 10 mail fraud charges, the U.S. attorney’s office in Little Rock said Friday.

Shoffner, 69, already faces 14 counts of extortion and bribery and a trial is scheduled for March 3.

She is to appear before U.S. Magistrate Beth Deere on the latest charges, said Cherith Beck, spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office.

Chuck Banks, Shoffner’s attorney, said his client will plead not guilty to the new charges.

A federal grand jury indicated Shoffner Thursday on 10 counts of mail fraud for allegedly using $9,800 of campaign funds from her re-election campaign for state treasurer for personal use, according to a news release. Shoffner allegedly mailed campaign checks for payments to a personal Wells Fargo credit card from Nov. 5, 2010, through Oct. 9, 2011.

The new counts of mail fraud against the former state treasurer are in addition to six counts of extortion, one count of attempted extortion and seven counts of receipt of bribery that were filed against her in June.

Shoffner resigned May 21. She had been under investigation or more than a year because of suspected bond transactions in her office when federal authorities took her into custody at her Newport home May 18 after an informant delivered a $6,000 cash payment in a pie box.

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