A former senior vice president and head of public finance at Stephens Inc. has been indicted by a Florida grand jury in the same "pay to play" case that sent another former Stephens employee to prison, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.
William Bethea is accused of helping to arrange loans through Worthen Bank of New Orleans to a former commissioner of the Escambia County, Fla., Utilities Authority.
Mr. Bethea and another Stephens employee arranged to repay $26,500 of loans they had arranged for the commissioner, and Stephens was awarded underwriting business on two bond issues totaling $36 million, the indictment says.
Mr. Bethea's trial is scheduled for April 6. Stephens is not named as a defendant in the case. Mr. Bethea was fired late last summer after the company became aware of the situation, a Stephens spokesman said.
The other former Stephens employee, Preston Bynum, and the commissioner, Terry D. Busbee, have been sentenced to prison terms of two years and 27 months, respectively, for their roles.