LUBBOCK and AMARILLO, Texas — Federal prosecutors on Monday said a jury was justified in finding Bart Reagor guilty. Reagor was co-owner of the Reagor Dykes Auto Group and related companies when it collapsed into bankruptcy in August 2018.
In April, a grand jury indicted Reagor for bank fraud and false statement to a bank. After an October trial in Amarillo, the jury acquitted the Lubbock businessman of bank fraud but convicted him of making a false statement to a bank.
More specifically, Reagor was accused of pocketing $1.76 million of a $10 million business loan. Reagor freely admitted to taking the money but said there was nothing wrong or illegal about it.
On December 13, Reagor’s defense team asked a judge to throw out the conviction on the idea that the crime requires intent. It cannot be a simple mistake.
“The evidence supported the verdict,” prosecutor wrote in direct response to the December 13 request.
An email from Reagor during the time in question said, “How we are going to handle this capital is 100,000,000 percent confidential between us and is not anyone else’s business. Nobody’s. No bankers or anyone else. Our business. Game on.”
Prosecutors said the email was the strongest evidence that Reagor knew he was doing something wrong.
“Reagor ordered [then-CFO Shane]Smith and [co-owner Rick] Dykes not to discuss his plan with anyone else because he knew it was illicit. Reagor made it unmistakably clear that his plan was not to be disclosed to anyone, including ‘bankers,’” prosecutors said.
Smith was charged with a crime, accepted a plea deal and is scheduled to face sentencing in 2022. Although Dykes was not charged with a crime, prosecutors pointed at least some of the blame in his direction.
“Reagor also knew that Dykes, who stood to gain $1.76 million from Reagor’s deception, would not question Reagor’s instructions,” prosecutors wrote. “Accordingly, Reagor included in his cabal only those who would not challenge his underhanded instructions.”
CLICK HERE to read the prosecutor’s response.
Prosecutors said Reagor knew his actions were dishonest and wrong. As such, they asked a judge to uphold the jury verdict.
“And finally, the jury was aware of Reagor’s powerful motive to wrongfully take the loan proceeds – unmitigated greed.”
A judge has yet to rule. Reagor faces a statutory maximum of 30 years, and sentencing was scheduled for February.