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Guilty plea

Steven Alan Standridge, 57, of Mount Ida, Arkansas, pleaded guilty last week to money laundering and wire fraud counts related to indictments issued against him by federal grand juries in both the Western and Eastern Districts of Arkansas. Standridge pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud from a 23-count indictment issued by a grand jury in the Western District of Arkansas on Oct. 30, 2013. Pursuant to the terms of the plea agreements, Standridge pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering from a 12-count Aug. 8, 2012, indictment by a grand jury in the Eastern District of Arkansas.

Pursuant to both plea agreements, Standridge and the United States agreed that a sentence of imprisonment of 60 months, to run concurrent, followed by a term of supervised release as determined by the court, and victim restitution totaling $7,096,417.35, is the appropriate sentence to be imposed by the court. The parties further agreed that should Standridge pay at least 80 percent of the restitution owed before sentencing, the United States would not object to Standridge seeking a variance in sentence to 36 months. The plea agreements provide that if the court does not accept these sentencing terms, Standridge may withdraw his pleas.

The 2013 indictment alleged that Standridge who was president of Steve Standridge Insurance, Inc., arranged to obtain loans from a corporation located in Hot Springs, Arkansas, by falsely representing that SSI would use the loans to purchase two insurance agencies and that Standridge submitted false information to a bank in Hot Springs, Arkansas, in an attempt to obtain a loan for SSI to purchase an insurance agency. The indictment alleged that there were no agreements to purchase the insurance agencies and that Standridge used the $2.7 million loans for other purposes.

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