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Bart Reagor not guilty on bank fraud charges, guilty of false statement to a bank

Bart Reagor moments after the verdict is in. He was found not guilty of bank fraud and guilty...
Bart Reagor moments after the verdict is in. He was found not guilty of bank fraud and guilty of false statement to a bank.(KCBD)
Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 11:39 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 15, 2021 at 8:04 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KCBD) - Bart Reagor left an Amarillo Federal Courtroom with a partial acquittal on Friday afternoon. After a day and a half of deliberations, jurors issued their decision on Bart Reagor’s charges about 3:45 p.m.

The jury reached a unanimous decision of not guilty of two counts of bank fraud, but guilty of making a false statement to the International Bank of Commerce about his intentions of using $1.7 million of a $10 million loan from IBC to Reagor-Dykes Auto Group.

On that charge, he faces up to 30 years in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk will make that decision during the sentencing hearing.

There were gasps and tears from Bart Reagor’s family. Reagor was serious as the verdict was read.

After the verdict came down, there was a motion for acquittal by the defense, which was denied by the judge. They also spoke about the money that was forfeited, taken by the FBI from Bart Reagor’s account, which is about $1 million. That ruling has been deferred.

Sentencing is expected to be scheduled in the next few weeks.

Reagor is not in the custody of the government at this time, staying with his pretrial release conditions. He has forfeited his passport and is not considered a flight risk.

Reagor did not have any comment for KCBD NewsChannel 11 as he walked out of the Amarillo Federal Courthouse.

Acting U.S. Attorney Chad Meacham released a statement Friday evening on the false statement charge in Reagor’s case.

“Bart Reagor’s greed and insatiable need to flaunt his wealth led him to lie to a federally-insured bank and ultimately resulted in that bank suffering a loss of over $20 million dollars,” Meacham said. “He’s now bracing for a possibly decades-long sentence. The Department of Justice will not permit this kind of abuse of our nation’s financial institutions and the funds of its hard-working depositors.”

The FBI released this statement on Saturday:

“This multi-year investigation was extremely complicated and required dedicated complex financial crimes resources and today’s outcome demonstrates the government’s commitment to protecting the best interests of the American people,” said Dallas FBI Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. DeSarno, “The resulting loss caused by false statements has the potential to harm the U.S. economy and investor confidence, and we will continue to work alongside the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners to ensure that justice is served.”

Earlier in the day...

After hours of deliberations by the jury on Thursday the jury said, “There’s no way we can be unanimous. Can we at least be dismissed for the day?” Jurors told the judge they were deadlocked.

U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk entered the courtroom at 10:09 a.m. on Friday and quickly called in the jury.

He told the jury he hopes they were able to rest and catch up on some sleep. He gave his usual instructions to the jury and reminded them that all 12 must be in the room for deliberations. They are allowed breaks and will have a lunch break. He sympathized with the jury, saying he knows it’s been a “long and hard process.”

He stressed that anything the jury needs, it will have; including refreshments or IT support. They were encouraged to continue with the court staff ready to help. The jury was sent to its deliberation room at 10:12 a.m.

At 11:58 a.m., the judge entered the courtroom to take up a note from the jury, a request for court transcripts.

The judge said the response would remind them of the notes they were allowed to take as memory aids. There would be no typewritten transcripts available to them.

The prosecution asked if included in the response to the jury that a specific section of the transcript could be made available, citing precedent. The defense agreed there is precedent for that, however it’s not known if the jury only wants a specific section.

The court eventually decided it would just tell the jury that transcripts of the proceedings would not be made available.

The judge said if another vague note is received by the jury, he would bring them in and admonish them to not be vague in their questions, that with “greater particularity” it might help them reach a verdict.

The court then recessed at 12:05 p.m.

At 1:58 the judge entered the courtroom to read note #5 from the jury. “We are still in deadlock.” Adding, “we have been through all the evidence. Jurors say they will not change their vote.”

The judge then told the prosecution and defense he will give the jury a modified Allen Charge, which is an instruction given by a court to a deadlocked jury to encourage it to continue deliberating until it reaches a verdict.

Matt Powell moved for a mistrial. He said by his calculations the jury has been deliberating for more than 10 hours.

Haag objected saying it was prudent to give the Allen Charge and move forward from there.

The judge said he would allow the jury to hear the Allen Charge and address the jury’s notes. He said the mistrial motion would be pending and would be considered next time.

The judge then addressed the modified Allen Charge which would include an instruction to the jury to add specificity to their questions to the judge so that they would be better able to respond.

Powell objected saying the jury hasn’t said there’s a particular disagreement and he didn’t think it was necessary at this time.

The judge said he was inclined to give the instruction.

He brought in the jury at 2:04 p.m. and read the Allen Charge which stresses to the jury the importance of the case and should they fail, it would be open and tried again. It tells the jury of their duty to agree to a verdict. They can be as leisurely in their deliberations as needed. He also addressed the notes and the need for specificity.

The judge then noted that jurors were wearing coats and said the temperature in the jury room could be changed, adding those kinds of accommodations could be made to ensure they are comfortable.

The jury was sent back at 2:08 p.m.

Closing arguments were presented Thursday morning in Reagor’s bank fraud trial at the Amarillo Federal Courthouse. About two hours after the start of the trial on Thursday, the case was handed to the jury. About seven hours later, the jury was deadlocked and continuing deliberations into the evening. An hour later, the jury was dismissed, sending a note to the judge saying “there’s no way we can be unanimous. Can we at least be dismissed for the day?”

Bart Reagor is on trial for charges including bank fraud. Specifically, he is accused of illegally keeping part of a business loan for himself. Federal prosecutors claim Reagor violated the loan agreement when he moved nearly $2 million out of a $10 million note into his personal account. If he is convicted, Reagor faces up to 90 years in federal prison.

On Wednesday, the defense laid out its case saying Reagor did nothing wrong. They claimed the International Bank of Commerce (IBC) did not define “working capital” in the loan agreement. That term has been a source of debate in this trial.

Financial experts testified for the defense saying their definitions of “working capital” covers that reimbursement since it was still considered a part of doing business.

Reagor’s personal accountant testified saying the IRS accepted that $1.7 million as “capital” for tax purposes.

Defense attorneys did not call former co-owner Rick Dykes to the stand as previously indicated in court records.

On Monday, the jury was selected, and testimony began on Tuesday with opening statements. Later in the day, Shane Smith, the former financial officer for Reagor Dykes Auto Group took the stand. Smith was on the stand for about three and a half hours.

MORE: REAGOR DYKES COVERAGE

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