The following is a press release from the US Department of Justice:
LUBBOCK, Texas (PRESS RELEASE) — Reagor Dykes Auto Group owner Bart Reagor was sentenced today to 14 years in federal prison for lying to a bank about his company’s prospects, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Chad E. Meacham.
Use the video player below to see Jeffrey R. Haag after the Reagor sentencing
In October 2021, a federal jury found Bart Wade Reagor, 55, guilty of making false statements to a bank insured by the FDIC. Mr. Reagor was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk, who ordered him to pay $9,378,817.28 in restitution.
At his sentencing hearing, prosecutors introduced into evidence videos of Mr. Reagor berating his employees for not hitting their sales targets.
“You gotta want to win more than you want to live. I do. I [expletive] die to win. I want to win every [expletive] day. Every [expletive] day, every [expletive] deal,” he says in one meeting. (Clip here.)
“Some of you weren’t there because you didn’t sell 20 units… Boo [expletive] hoo. Cry your way to the weak zone. Cry your way to the loser zone. How many times have ya’ll head me crying? I can’t be crying because I got to take care of a lot of [expletive] crybabies… Somebody’s got to be strong, somebody’s got to be consistent, and somebody’s got to be a [expletive] leader. I chose me,” he said in another “Come on up to the front, come on up to the beast feast, come on up to the millionaire zone, come on up to the jet-flying, private jet-owning, gator-wearing, Rolex-wearing club. Come on up! It’s a choice you gotta make! Or you can cry your way to sleep with all the other [expletive] losers.” (Clip here.)
According to evidence presented at trial, in 2017, Mr. Reagor told International Bank of Commerce (IBC) that the auto group was experiencing tremendous growth and expected to go public. He claimed the company needed a cash infusion to sustain its upward trajectory and maintain a cash cushion for each of the dealerships to operate.
Relying on that information, IBC granted Reagor Dykes a $10 million working capital loan, which was distributed in two tranches: $5,000,000 in July 2017 and another $5,000,000 in February 2018, to be disbursed to the various RDAG entities.
Instead of investing all of the money into the business as he’d said he would, Mr. Reagor diverted more than $1.7 million to his personal account at Prosperity Bank – $766,277 in July 2017, following IBC’s disbursement of the first tranche of money, and $1 million in February 2018, following IBC’s disbursement of the second tranche of money. At trial, Reagor Dykes’ CFO, Shane Smith, testified that Mr. Reagor and his partner, Rick Dykes, routinely drew money out of the business. Over a 10-year-period, Mr. Smith estimated, the pair withdrew more than $25 million.
In videos introduced at sentencing, Mr. Reagor told employees that anyone bringing home a five-digit salary is “broke as [expletive]” and living “a chump life.”
“Don’t have any skeletons. See, I don’t have any — and if I had any, I already forgot ‘em. I got a selective memory. I remember what I [expletive] want to remember,” he told his employees. “And everything else doesn’t [expletive] matter.” (Clip here.)
Fifteen of Mr. Reagor’s employees previously pleaded guilty to various crimes involving dummy flooring and check kitting at Reagor Dykes, including:
- Shane Andrew Smith, Reagor Dykes’ CEO, who pleaded guilty in June 2019 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud
- Diana Urias, an office manager in Reagor Dykes’ used car mall in Levelland, who pleaded guilty in September 2019 to conspiracy to commit bank fraud
- Sheila Miller, an RDAG group controller, who pleaded guilty in September 2019 to conspiracy to commit bank fraud
- Paige Johnston, an office manager in Reagor Dykes’ Chevrolet store in Floydada, who pleaded guilty in October 2019 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud
- Lindsay Williams, and RDAG group accounting manager, who pleaded guilty in October 2019 to conspiracy to commit bank fraud
- Sherri Wood, an office manager at Reagor Dykes’ Ford store in Plainview, who pleaded guilty in October 2019 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud
- Pepper Rickman, an accounting controller at Reagor Dykes’ Toyota store in Plainview, who pleaded guilty in October 2019 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud
- Brad Fansler, an RDAG group administrative director, who pleaded guilty in November 2019 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud
- Ashley Dunn, executive assistant to the CEO, who pleaded guilty in December 2019 to conspiracy to commit bank fraud
- Whitney Maldonado, an office manager at Reagor Dykes’ Mitsubishi store in Lubbock, who pleaded guilty in December 2019 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud
- Elaina Cabral, an office manager at Reagor Dykes’ Toyota store in Plainview, who pleaded guilty in December 2019 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud
- Mistry Canady, an office manager at Reagor Dykes’ Ford store in Lamesa, who pleaded guilty in January 2020 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud
- Andrea Kate Phillips, an office manager at Reagor Dykes’ Ford store in Plainview, who pleaded guilty in February 2020 to misprision of a felony
- Wesley Neel, RDAG Safety & Compliance Manager, who pleaded guilty in March 2020 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud
- Steven Reinhart, RDAG Legal Compliance Director, who pleaded guilty in February 2021 to misprision of a felony
“To Bart Reagor, anyone who isn’t a millionaire is a chump. And Mr. Reagor couldn’t face being a chump. So, instead of doing his best to grow his business honestly, he padded his personal bank account by lying to a federally-insured bank. I imagine he will spend the next 14 years behind bars regretting that decision,” said U.S. Attorney Chad E. Meacham. “The Justice Department will not tolerate abuse of our nation’s financial institutions.”
“Financial crimes can destroy businesses which in turn causes irreparable damage to our economy. Mr. Reagor’s sentence sends a clear message to any criminal who uses corporate fraud for their own personal gain,” said FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. DeSarno. “The FBI and our law enforcement partners will not tolerate this behavior. We will vigorously pursue anyone that uses their executive position to defraud a lending institution, investors, or the public.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Dallas Field Office and Internal Revenue Services – Criminal Investigation Division conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joshua Frausto, Jeffrey Haag, and Amy Burch prosecuted the case.
Additional video footage admitted into evidence is available upon request.
(Press release from US Department of Justice)