Former Little Rock lawyer Steven Eugene Cauley, who earlier this year completed an 86-month federal prison sentence, was found dead Friday in his home in Hot Springs. He was 48.
Garland County Coroner Stuart Smedley said a ruling on the death was still pending and he could not release details. He said Cauley was pronounced dead in his home on Windy Point on Lake Hamilton shortly before noon. I’m awaiting further from the sheriff’s office. Smedley added to Arkansas Business that “ligature strangulation” appeared to be the cause of what sources had originally reported as a self-inflicted death.
UPDATE: A statement from the sheriff’s office:
The Garland County Sheriff Office responded to 119 Windy Pt. on 08-12-16 reference a welfare check.
Deputies met with a family member at approximately 1100 hrs. and made entry into the house.
Steven Couley 48 was located inside and apparently died from self-inflicted means. The Garland County Sheriff Office and Coroner’s Office jointly investigated the incident and the death has been ruled a suicide.
Carley’s sentence was completed April 20. He had spent the last several months of the sentence, since at least November 2015, on home detention at his house on Lake Hamilton outside the Hot Springs city limits. He was divorced from his second wife April 15. A property settlement in that case indicates he still retained assets, or interest in assets, including the lake home, a woman’s Rolex watch, an IRA and a life insurance trust.
He was sentenced in 2009 for stealing $9.3 million from a client trust account. Restitution of that amount was among several legal loose ends from the end of what had been a high-profile practice in class action securities litigation. Arkansas Business reported earlier this year that he’d made little of the required restitution.
A probation report had said Cauley hoped to use his contacts in real estate, finance and law for future employment. He surrendered his law license in 2009. When he pleaded guilty to stealing client money, he told a federal judge in New York that he had suffered a “severe depressive episode,” but he said he didn’t offer that as an excuse for his action.