LUBBOCK, Texas — Bart Reagor was required to report to the federal prison in Oakdale, Louisiana Monday afternoon. In mid-October, the Lubbock businessman was convicted by an Amarillo jury of making a false statement to a bank.
Prosecutors said he took more than $1.7 million from the Reagor-Dykes Auto Group right after RDAG accepted a $10 million loan from IBC Bank. Prosecutors said it was illegal. Reagor said it was not, and freely admitted taking the money.
Prosecutors told the jury that the loan was for business capital, not for Reagor’s personal use.
RDAG collapsed into bankruptcy in August 2018 amid accusations of fraud and default. Several former RDAG employees, including former Chief Financial Officer Shane Smith, pleaded guilty to federal crimes. Reagor always maintained his innocence.
On Friday, before heading to Oakdale, Reagor sat down for a one-on-one interview with KLBK’s Terri Furman. Use the video player above to watch the segment as it aired.
She asked, among other things, if it was fair that Reagor was charged, but co-owner Rick Dykes was not. Dykes took the same $1.766,277 at the same time ($766,277 in July 2017 plus $1 million in February 2018).
“We did the same thing on the same day, and I’m the only one that got charged with anything,” Reagor said. “And so, I don’t understand that.”
“I think maybe it’s because I’m more belligerent than Rick [Dykes],” Reagor said. “When it first started, you know, Rick [Dykes was] trying to settle with everybody. And I’m like, ‘I’m upset.’”
“How could they let my CFO do this and not tell me?” Reagor asked rhetorically, “How could we develop this $100 million problem?
“Rick [Dykes] was more calm,” Reagor said. “I mean, he settled with everybody. He’s like the Pied Piper.”
KLBK Exclusive: Bart Reagor speaks to media for the first time since 2018
Reagor said taking the money at that time and under those circumstances was his idea.
“I sent an email to Rick Dykes and said, I think we should take distributions,” Reagor said.
And there was a story leading up to it, Reagor said. He and Dykes needed to put their own equity into the business in early 2017 after a “bad audit.” As far as Reagor was concerned, he was simply taking money back out. He said Smith and IBC even talked about ownership “distributions.”
“[A lawyer for IBC] didn’t say that distributions were possible,” Reagor said. “And so, Shane [Smith] emailed him back and said, ‘Just, you know, Rick and Bart haven’t taken distributions since March, but we’re not content planning for that to continue.’”
“So, [the IBC lawyer] said ‘no problem’ and came back and changed the contract so that we could take distributions,” Reagor said.
Reagor provided a copy of the email to KLBK and EverythingLubbock.com.
During contract negotiations, Smith wrote to IBC’s lawyer (with a CC to a senior vice president at IBC), “Section 7.12 – Should be removed. Owners have cancelled disbursements as of March 2017, but I don’t recall this being a requirement for the future.”
“I didn’t do anything illegal. I didn’t. I didn’t,” Reagor said.
Federal prosecutors said it was illegal. They also introduced video of Reagor berating his employees in sales meetings, calling them “f***ing losers,” and saying “You gotta want to win more than you want to live. I do. I [expletive] die to win.”
Reagor also told employees on video that anyone bringing home a five-digit salary is “broke as [expletive]” and living “a chump life.”
Now, Reagor said he feels like he is the chump.
Reagor was sentenced to 14 years in prison. He filed an appeal, which is in the early stages before the Fifth Circuit.
EverythingLubbock.com reached out to Dykes. He referred us to his attorney who then provided a brief statement on Tuesday:
“Mr. Reagor is currently pursuing an appeal of his conviction and the government is defending the conviction in that appeal. Out of respect for the parties and that process, Mr. Dykes has no comment at this time.”
(Terri Furman contributed to this report.)
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