LUBBOCK and AMARILLO, Texas – A federal jury in Amarillo found Bart Reagor guilty of one count of making false statements to a bank.
A jury went into deliberations at 10:17 a.m. Thursday. The jury was deadlocked Thursday and much of Friday.
Ultimately the jury convicted him on one of three counts. The verdict came into the courtroom at 3:46 p.m. Jury members who were released are now allowed to talk about the case if they want to.
Reagor was allowed to remain free until he is sentenced. The judge determined he was not a flight risk or a danger.
Reagor was the co-owner of Reagor Dykes Auto Group (RDAG). The company collapsed into bankruptcy in 2018 amid accusations of fraud. Ford Motor Credit Company called it the biggest fraud of its kind in U.S. history.
But the company collapse was not the issue in the criminal trial. Something Reagor did and admitted he did in 2017 was the basis of an indictment that was filed against him in April.
During closing arguments Thursday morning, Jeffrey Haag, a lawyer for the prosecution, told the jury that Reagor took approximately $1.76 million from RDAG. The move came right after IBC Bank loaned $10 million to RDAG.
Reagor claimed there was nothing wrong with taking money from his own company.
Haag told the jury that the money came from a $10 million working capital loan to the Reagor Dykes Auto Group (RDAG). IBC Bank believed it would go solely to the business. Haag said Reagor omitted the fact that he was going to use a portion of the loan for his personal benefit.
Haag quoted an email in which Reagor stated that it should be “1 million percent confidential” for him to take money from RDAC after the IBC Bank loan.
Defense attorney Dan Cogdell said during closing arguments the case was tried on emotion because prosecutors did not have the facts. Cogdell referred to prosecutors playing audio of Reagor cussing and yelling.
“Three years to investigate this case, and this is [the] proof?”
Cogdell asked the jury. “This is the sort of stuff that’s supposed to convince you beyond a reasonable doubt? Nonsense.”
Cogdell said nothing in the loan prevented Reagor from taking money out of the company.
Reagor will be sentenced at a later date after the judge has time to order and receive a pre-sentence investigation (PSI). The PSI will provide the judge with background information about Reagor.
The maximum penalty for false statements to a bank is 30 years.
Reagor was indicted for two counts of bank fraud and one count of making false statements to a bank. But again, the jury found him guilty only on one count of making false statements to a bank. The other two counts were not guilty.
Because of the verdict, Reagor will likely forfeit $950,951.18 the FBI seized from his personal bank account in November 2018. The forfeiture can also include “the proceeds traceable to the offense.” The judge put off a final ruling on the forfeiture for another time.
The case was investigated by the Amarillo offices of the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice.
CLARIFICATION: The judge did not make a final ruling on the forfeiture of money.