LITTLE ROCK — The jury in former Arkansas treasurer Martha Shoffner’s extortion and bribery trial viewed Monday a hidden-camera video of Shoffner accepting one of her infamous pie-box deliveries of cash from a broker.

LITTLE ROCK — The jury in former Arkansas treasurer Martha Shoffner’s extortion and bribery trial viewed Monday a hidden-camera video of Shoffner accepting one of her infamous pie-box deliveries of cash from a broker.

“What kind of pie did you bring me?” Shoffner asks in the video as Steele Stephens presents her with a box that he testified in federal court Monday contained a pie and $6,000 in cash.

The former Democratic treasurer, who resigned May 21, is charged with six counts of extortion, one count of attempted extortion and seven counts of receipt of bribery. The government alleges that she received seven payments of $6,000 each from Stephens — the first six in his money and the seventh in FBI money — and that in return she steered a disproportionate amount of the state’s investment business to Stephens.

Shoffner’s lawyers say Shoffner accepted cash gifts from Stephens but never agreed to do anything in return for the money.

Federal authorities arrested Shoffner on May 18 after Stephens delivered an apple pie to her at her home in Newport with $6,000 in the box. The video the jury viewed Monday was made that day via a hidden camera the FBI placed on Stephens’ person.

In the video, Shoffner tells Stephens she is afraid his phone may be bugged. She also says that while driving into Little Rock one day she disposed of a cell phone that Stephens had given her by throwing it off a bridge.

“I crossed over the bridge and I rolled that window down on the car and I threw it so hard it went over the railing,” she says.

Stephens testified Monday that between 2008 and 2012 he did about $2 billion worth of bond trades for the state, more than twice the amount of the state’s business handled by any other broker in that time. He also said that by the end of 2012 he had an inventory of bonds with the treasurer’s office totaling more than $600 million, or more than three times the inventory of any other broker trading bonds for the state.

Stephens, who has been promised immunity from prosecution in exchange for his cooperation with the government, testified that the commissions he collected on the trades he did for the state between 2008 and 2012 totaled about $2.5 million.

He also testified that before he began making the cash payments to Shoffner, she had asked him to buy her a house, but that idea was dropped because it would draw too much attention.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Ray White asked Stephens why he gave Shoffner the money.

“I thought she needed it,” he said.

Stephens said Shoffner needed money to pay her sister for their later mother’s house after she died, to find a new place to live and to buy a car after her state-issued car was taken away.

“She was pretty much financially strapped, and she was only making fifty-something thousand dollars per year before taxes, so she needed the money,” Stephens said.

“Mr. Stephens, I’m sure there are a lot of people in Little Rock who need the money,” White said. “There’s only one that you gave a series of $6,000 payments to. … Why was that?”

“She needed it, and also I felt, honestly, that it would improve my chances (to do business) with her,” Stephens said.

“Do you think it did?” White asked.

“Yes,” Stephens said.

On cross-examination, defense attorney Chuck Banks asked Stephens, “You didn’t think for one minute that you were invading the province of illegality of committing a federal crime, did you?”

“I knew it was wrong,” Stephens said.

“You knew it was wrong, but you didn’t believe you had committed, aided and abetted any extortion or bribery, did you?” Banks asked.

“No,” Stephens said.

The state rested late Monday afternoon. Defense attorney Grant Ballard then moved for acquittal, arguing that interstate commerce was not involved, no federal money was involved and no specific quid-pro-quo agreement existed between Shoffner and Stephens, so the requirements for federal extortion and bribery charges had not been met.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Mazzanti argued that interstate commerce was affected by the bond trades that Shoffner allowed Stephens to conduct, that the money the state treasurer’s office uses for investments includes some federal funds, and that Shoffner did approach Stephens with a request for financial help which he then provided and for which he received increased business and, consequently, commissions.

U.S. District Judge Leon Holmes said he would take the arguments under advisement and revisit them in the event of a guilty verdict.

Banks told Holmes that Shoffner would not testify in her defense. He said he expected to present the defense’s case in its entirety on Tuesday.

If convicted, Shoffner faces up to to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each extortion count and up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each bribery count. She also has been charged with 10 counts of mail fraud is scheduled to stand trial on those charges March 31.Shoffner is charged with six counts of extortion, one count of attempted extortion and seven counts of receipt of bribery. - See more at: http://arkansasnews.com/news/arkansas/jury-hears-recording-conversation-between-shoffner-broker#sthash.PKdt6EbE.dpuf