LUBBOCK, TX — Thursday, federal prosecutors announced Bart Reagor, co-owner of the Reagor-Dykes Auto Group, was indicted by a federal grand jury on two counts of bank fraud and one count of making false statements to a bank. Reagor also been charged with lying about using bank loans for personal expenses.
If convicted, he faces up to 90 years in federal prison. But Reagor’s attorney, Dan Cogdell with Jones Walker LLP in Houston, said not only are these allegations not true — he’s ready to fight them in court.
“I don’t plead people that aren’t guilty. I expect us to go to trial, and I expect us to have Bart found not guilty for one simple reason: Bart is not guilty,” Cogdell said.
Court documents stated that Reagor diverted more than $1.7 million from business loans over two years into his personal accounts — and into his pockets. This, even as a number of his businesses were going under. However, Cogdell emphasized Reagor is not to blame.
“Bart’s a victim here. He’s not a perpetrator. He was deceived by people that he trusted and relied upon, and in turn, those people stole from him and others and caused the implosion of his business. He’s hurt. He’s wounded,” Cogdell said.
The documents added Reagor’s company received a loan from International Bank of Commerce for $10 million, and the loan agreement explicitly prohibited Reagor and others from diverting the money into personal accounts for personal expenses.
Still, Cogdell, who notably represented the defendant in the Enron-Merrill Lynch case, emphasized he expects Reagor will be acquitted and that Reagor’s actions were within his rights.
“He got legal advice to do it. There was nothing wrong with dispersing those funds,” Cogdell said.
Federal prosecutors also alleged that Reagor knowingly misled the bank about the purpose of the loans.
“Bart is devastated. This is terribly embarrassing to his family, but he is a man of great strength and great faith and great commitment. He’s got a ton of support from the people who know him best, and he’ll get through this,” Cogdell said.
Fifteen of Reagor’s former employees have pleaded guilty to various crimes, including check kiting. Reagor is set to appear before a judge for the first time in Amarillo on Monday.
After the announcement of Reagor’s indictment, the U.S. Attorney’s Office also released a statement, saying in part, “We are determined to hold to account every Reagor-Dyke’s employee who engaged in financial misconduct.”