LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - It’s been almost a year since Bart Reagor last talked with the media, but Monday he broke his silence on his terms.
Reagor hired former Houston investigative reporter Wayne Dolcefino to speak out. Dolcefino, the man known around Lubbock for representing Mike Leach in his ongoing battle against Texas Tech, came to Lubbock for the interview, releasing it to the public on Monday.
KCBD reached out to Reagor to see if he wanted to talk. He declined the interview and referred us back to the Dolcefino Group.
Full release from Dolcefino Consulting:
For 11 long months, a very frustrated Bart Reagor was told by lawyers to remain silent while his West Texas car dealerships imploded amidst allegations of fraud leveled by banks and Ford Motor Credit.
Reagor is now breaking his silence.
“I had no idea. There was absolutely no reason for me to think there was any major fraud going on. I assure you I had no knowledge of any floor plan fraud. I had no knowledge of any check kiting. I don’t have anything to hide, I have nothing to hide, I have nothing to fear,” Reagor told Dolcefino Consulting in his first interview. “I have no doubt about the fact that I had no involvement in what caused this situation.”
Reagor’s first public comments come just days after his former chief financial officer Shane Smith pleaded guilty to wire fraud. He faces up to 20 years in prison.
“I’m still confused about why he would do anything to put us in this position, other than greed. Or if there was somebody he was taking direction from besides me,” Reagor said. “I wish I had been more of a financial expert and gotten involved in that area of the company, but honestly that wasn’t my thing, you know. I’m a commercial guy, I’m a sales guy, I’m a marketing guy. Every Friday I got a bank balance report from my CFO. Every month I got financial statements on all the stores from my CFO. Every three months we had quarterly audits from Ford Motor Credit Company.”
Reagor was on vacation when Ford Motor Credit came in to close the Reagor-Dykes dealerships down. Only a few weeks before, the dealerships had been praised by Ford Motor Credit after the routine quarterly audit of the inventory. The Reagor Dykes dealerships had been presented with two President Awards for its work with Ford.
“Sixteen days before they came in here and destroyed my company, they were telling me thank you Bart, you are a great dealer, you are one of the best dealers we have, let’s celebrate your success,” Reagor said. “All of a sudden, I am on vacation halfway across the world, and they tell me I owe them 40 million dollars. There’s no way.”
“Those first couple of weeks, I lost twenty-one pounds in like ten days. It’s been a massive disaster, since July 26th, 2018, my life’s never been the same.”
Reagor spoke with us as he was moving out the final boxes from his former headquarters in the Green Building on Avenue J.
“It kind of makes me sick. Now you are going to make me get teared up,” Reagor said.
Reagor had invested heavily in redeveloping Lubbock and financed a billboard campaign labeling the city the Friendliest city in America. The former Texas Tech football standout was known for his sizeable donations and support of charities, from Casa to Make a Wish.
“I’ve never tried to do anything but good for Lubbock, West Texas, the car business, Ford Motor Credit company.”
Reagor opened his first dealership at the Reagor auto mall. Tall weeds have sprung up through the concrete, but the lot is still full of cars. A tattered flag with the company’s logo still flies outside.
“I don’t know who owns these cars out here. I know I don’t own them. I don’t know who owns these buildings right now, I don’t own them anymore.”
“It’s been hard on me because of my family, it’s been really hard on my wife. She doesn’t even want to go the grocery store”, Reagor told Dolcefino Consulting. “I have had to pray a lot, and I have had to call on the Lord a lot, call on my friends a lot and my family. Yeah it was hard. It was the hardest thing I have been through in my life. You really find out who your friends are when something like this happens.”
“When you see what was being built here and you see what happened, what are you thinking,” Dolcefino Consulting President Wayne Dolcefino asked. “It makes me really angry,” Reagor told us.
Reagor expressed frustration that so many customers had title issues with cars after he lost control of the company.
“Now that I have had almost eleven months to figure out what went wrong, what went wrong was there was a lot of things going on in the financial area of our business that were corrupt,” Reagor said. “I am not done by a long shot. A lot of people made a lot of money on this game at my expense.”