More charges: Two Reagor-Dykes employees plead to bank fraud
Two more people have pleaded guilty to their involvement in massive fraud at the Reagor-Dykes Auto Group. In June, former CFO Shane Smith pleaded to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Conspiracy means he was working with someone else.
Friday former Reagor-Dykes controller Sheila Evans Miller, 52, and former Reagor-Dykes office manager Diana Herrera Urias, 53, admitted the Auto Group engaged in "widespread, systematic check kiting, a play that involves concealing fraud by cross-depositing checks across several banks", according to the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.
Miller and Urias pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud. The U.S. Attorney's Office reports they were involved in a $23 million scheme.
In their pleas, Miller and Urias admitted the Auto Group was struggling with ballooning expenses because of "aggressive growth, above market compensation and unnecessary overhead".
Friday's plea mirrors what was in Smith's plea in June -- that the company had an entire team at its headquarters specifically designated to kite checks.
In June, principal Bart Reagor, through a media consulting firm video release, said he had no knowledge of any of this going on. "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," Reagor said in the video produced by Dolcefino Consulting.
"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," Reagor said in the June release and in the video provided. "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.”
The Attorney's Office reports checks that should have bounced instead cleared during banks' float time, which is the time between the deposit in one account and the deduction from the other.
Their pleas state CFO Smith instructed Miller, Urias and others to make up random amounts for each check to total the amount needed to be kited that day. This was often discussed through e-mail.
Miller and Urias each face up to five years in federal prison and may be required to pay restitution of at least $23 million.
Following Smith's June plea, we reported he faces up to 20 years in prison and restitution of more than $50 million. Smith will be sentenced at the start of next month.
The FBI and IRS among agencies on this case.
To unwind the complexities of many related Reagor-Dykes stories, here is an overview. Ford Motor Credit, in late July 2018, filed a lawsuit against several Reagor-Dykes companies and its principals, Bart Reagor and Rick Dykes. The suit claimed Reagor-Dykes committed massive floor plan fraud, later described as perhaps the largest fraud of its kind in U.S. history. A day later, the companies filed for bankruptcy. Later in 2018, other Reagor-Dykes companies also sought chapter 11 protection.
In the 14 months since, there have been a multitude of court hearings and well more than 1,400 court filings in the bankruptcy cases. An investment group has emerged, hoping to lead the company out of bankruptcy through a re-organization; backers have said this would be of greatest benefit to creditors, related parties, and the communities in which the dealerships operate.
After the dealerships filed for bankruptcy, Ford Credit amended its lawsuit to list only Bart Reagor and Rick Dykes as defendants.
In April Dykes agreed to a settlement with Ford Credit, of more than $58 million. In late May Senior U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings granted summary judgment in favor of Ford Credit against Bart Reagor, ordering Ford Credit to tally what Reagor personally owes.
A hearing is set early next month, before a jury, to determine what Reagor owes.
Since the initial July 2018 suit, several local banks filed multiple lawsuits, which included allegations that other banks were complicit in the fraud.
During one bankruptcy hearing a few months ago, Judge Robert Jones raised concern that customers are being overlooked. Several hundred people who either made a sale or lease with Reagor-Dykes, or had some other interaction, faced a multitude of problems. Some were still getting bills for a vehicle they had traded in. Others couldn't register their new vehicle.
Reagor-Dykes bankruptcy attorney Marcus Helt, on multiple occasions in court, explained this is an unusually complex case, making it difficult to resolve consumers' problems while also maneuvering through bankruptcy proceedings. The person who took over day-to-day operations of the Auto Group also testified records were in an absolute mess at many of the dealership locations, making it a challenge to simply line up papers for a single vehicle.
SEPT. 12: First Bank & Trust proposes converting Reagor-Dykes bankruptcy to liquidation
SEPT. 3: Reagor-Dykes names primary investor in re-organization plan
AUG. 29: Objections remain in Reagor-Dykes' path to reorganization
AUG. 5: Trial date set in Ford Credit vs. Bart Reagor
JULY 12: International Bank of Commerce sues Ford Credit, claims damages tied to Reagor-Dykes collapse
JULY 11: Hearing on what Ford Credit claims Bart Reagor owes rescheduled
JULY 6: IBC Bank moves for summary judgment vs. Reagor, judge recuses himself
JULY 1: Reagor-Dykes files reorganization plan
JUNE 24: Bart Reagor states he had no knowledge of fraud, check kiting
JUNE 21: Judge approves bankruptcy plan schedule for Reagor-Dykes
JUNE 19: Former Reagor-Dykes CFO pleads to federal conspiracy charge
JUNE 18: July 11 hearing set on amount Reagor owes Ford Credit
JUNE 17: Reagor: Ford Credit must show its work on how much it's owed
JUNE 3: Ford Credit: Bart Reagor owes $46 million plus interest
MAY 24: Ford Credit wins; court orders Reagor to pay
MAY 22: Progress reported in resolving Reagor-Dykes registration issues
MAY 9: Oklahoma bank sues Reagor, Dykes, offshore financial companies for $26 million
MAY 6: State of Texas sues Reagor, Dykes for more than $50,000 in sales taxes
APRIL 24: Reagor-Dykes registration issues may soon be resolved
APRIL 16: Bart, Annette Reagor deny breaching insurance corporation contracts in $2.4 million suit
APRIL 10: Progress but no agreement, just yet, on Reagor-Dykes TT&L plan
APRIL 8: Multiple objections filed to Reagor-Dykes' registration solution proposal
APRIL 2: Filing: Rick Dykes agrees to $58.7 million judgment to Ford Credit
MARCH 23: Universal Underwriters sues Reagors, claims Auto Group defaulted on contracts
MARCH 21: Vista Bank: FirstCapital Bank 'sealed the demise' of Reagor-Dykes with fraudulent agreement
MARCH 20: 700 Reagor-Dykes customers still have unresolved TT&L, trade-in
MARCH 19: Proposal could resolve many Reagor-Dykes registration, title issues
MARCH 19: Landlord: Reagor-Dykes Plainview abandoned in 'extreme disrepair'
FEB. 23: Dykes, Reagor response claims Ford Credit should have seen problems
FEB. 19: UPDATED: Reagor-Dykes mediation next week in Dallas
FEB. 15: Read order directing global mediation in Reagor-Dykes bankruptcy
FEB. 14: Judge orders Ford Credit to participate in Reagor-Dykes 'global mediation'
FEB. 11: Judge approves AmeriCredit's request for hearing on Reagor-Dykes Snyder
FEB. 8: Judge orders TT&L lists turned over to creditor, others request info
FEB. 8: GM Financial, citing 'little opportunity' for meaningful progress, requests access to relief
FEB. 8: Judge denies Reagor-Dykes request to delay summary judgment
FEB. 7: Landlord orders Reagor-Dykes out, another phone hearing next week
FEB. 7: Ford Credit objects to Reagor-Dykes' attempt at 'global mediation'
FEB. 6: First Bank & Trust opposes 'global mediation' for Reagor-Dykes
FEB. 6: Reagor-Dykes requests global mediation in bankruptcy
FEB. 6: Reagor and Dykes argue if Ford Credit was complicit in fraud, two men not responsible for $109 million+
JAN. 31: Reagor-Dykes seeks appeal of Bankruptcy Judge's order
JAN. 31: McDougal no longer involved in Reagor-Dykes re-organization effort
JAN. 28: Nearly 6 months later, hundreds of Reagor-Dykes customers still in limbo
JAN. 23: FirstCapital Bank allows Reagor-Dykes to use cash collateral
JAN. 18: Future uncertain for Reagor-Dykes Auto Group after recent ruling
JAN. 17: Judge: Ford Credit may repossess Reagor-Dykes vehicles
JAN. 9: Court approves Reagor-Dykes interim funding
JAN. 8: Reagor-Dykes, Ford Credit argue future of Auto Group in bankruptcy court
JAN. 8: Citing possible criminal investigation, former Reagor-Dykes CFO requests stay on discovery
JAN. 8: Ford Credit: Reagor, Dykes signed guaranties, should pay $112 million+ in relief
JAN. 7: Reagor-Dykes files reorganization plan
JAN. 7: 'Reagor-Dykes is not dead', Auto Group files response to Ford Credit's demands
JAN. 4: With no reorganization plan yet filed, Ford Credit seeks to take possession of Reagor-Dykes vehicles
JAN. 3: Lender asks bankruptcy court to force Reagor-Dykes legal team to produce documents
DEC. 26: UPDATE: Court allows Ford Credit lawsuit to proceed against Bart Reagor, Rick Dykes
DEC. 12: Slow progress reported on Reagor-Dykes customers' TT&L, trade-ins
NOV. 29: McDougal, Ewing and Dykes lead group to purchase Reagor-Dykes assets
NOV. 21 Former Reagor-Dykes CFO requests change of venue in lawsuit
NOV. 20: Toyota, GM file objections in Reagor-Dykes bid process
NOV. 14: State may extend titles for some Reagor-Dykes customers
NOV. 2: Five more Reagor-Dykes entities petition for bankruptcy
OCT. 29: Reagor-Dykes TT&L, trade-in issues remain unresolved; progress reported with some lenders
OCT. 29: Bart Reagor, Reagor Auto Mall claim First Bank & Trust party at fault
OCT. 29: Vista Bank asks to recoup funds in Reagor-Dykes accounts
OCT. 18: No resolution yet on Reagor-Dykes customers' unpaid TT&L, trade-in liens
OCT. 17: More lenders object to Reagor-Dykes' request for TT&L, trade-in payment
OCT. 16: U.S. Bank objects to Reagor-Dykes request for lenders to pay TT&L, trade-ins
OCT. 15: Compromise on vehicles in First Bank & Trust lawsuit v. Reagor Auto Mall
OCT. 15: Judge approves sale of Reagor-Dykes plane; Wells Fargo objects to portion of TT&L motion
OCT. 12: Ford Credit supports part of Reagor-Dykes' request for lenders to pay TT&L, trade-ins
OCT. 12: FirstCapital files counterclaim, motion to dismiss
OCT. 10: Reagor-Dykes aircraft to be sold, pending court approval
OCT. 10: Several filings in Reagor-Dykes bankruptcy case
OCT. 1: KamKad, Reagor-Dykes execute purchase agreement
SEPT. 24: FirstCapital Bank requests First Bank & Trust lawsuit against it, Reagor-Dykes, others move to federal court
SEPT. 21: Judge sets schedule, trial date in Vista Bank v FirstCapital Bank lawsuit
SEPT. 21: Former Reagor-Dykes CFO denies late payments, says Vista Bank attacked him, his family
SEPT. 20: Vista Bank sues former Reagor-Dykes CFO, claims loan default
SEPT. 19: Texas DMV: Reagor-Dykes should promptly resolve title issues
SEPT. 19: Brad, Kenneth Burgess file motion to dismiss Vista Bank lawsuit
SEPT. 18: First Capital Bank files motion to dismiss lawsuit
SEPT. 18: Court approves bid process for Reagor-Dykes Auto Group, extends use of cash collateral
SEPT. 17: Ford Credit, GM object to certain aspects of proposed Reagor-Dykes sale
SEPT. 14: Judge sets trial date in Ford Credit lawsuit vs. Reagor-Dykes
SEPT. 14: Reagor denies Ford Credit's claim vehicles sold out of trust
SEPT. 13: Dykes: Former Reagor-Dykes CFO admits he provided false info to Ford Credit
SEPT. 11: Reagor-Dykes Auto Group requests court to allow sale of company
SEPT. 4: Reagor-Dykes Auto Group establishes process to resolve customer problems
AUG. 31: International Bank of Commerce asks for court to allow it to foreclose on Reagor-Dykes dealerships
AUG. 31: More Reagor-Dykes companies, co-owners may soon file for chapter 11
AUG. 30: Court extends Reagor-Dykes employment of CRO; officer discusses potential dealership buyers
AUG. 29 : International Bank of Commerce asks for loan payment in Reagor-Dykes case
AUG. 29: Ford Credit objects to Reagor-Dykes earlier legal team
AUG. 27: Vista Bank doubles relief request in new federal suit against FirstCapital Bank
AUG. 25: Reagor-Dykes chief restructuring officer hires new legal team
AUG. 25: GM proceeding with termination of Reagor-Dykes Floydada
AUG. 23: Landlords demand rent for Reagor-Dykes dealerships in Lubbock, Plainview
AUG. 20: Ford Credit moves ahead with suit against Reagor, Dykes, some R-D companies
AUG. 18: Reagor-Dykes bankruptcy case: Read court order following Aug. 16 hearing
AUG. 17: Auto dealer claims Reagor-Dykes owes $513,000, vehicles may be in consumers' possession
AUG. 16: Vista Bank sues FirstCapital for $6 million, claims Dykes helped perpetrate check kiting scheme
AUG. 16: Bankruptcy court allows Reagor-Dykes continued use of cash collateral, hiring of CRO
AUG. 15: Reagor-Dykes Auto Group issues written apology
AUG. 14: Loss of Reagor-Dykes Chevrolet in Floydada a potential financial pitfall for city
AUG. 14: Vehicle auction company claims Reagor-Dykes owes it $687,000
AUG. 14: Ford Credit claims Reagor-Dykes is not following court orders; court grants extension to file docs
AUG. 13: U.S. Trustee opposes Reagor-Dykes request to hire chief restructuring officer
AUG. 10: Ford Credit: Reagor-Dykes fraud may be among largest of its type in U.S. history; GM files to terminate Floydada dealership
AUG. 9: Reagor-Dykes questions former CFO’s actions; Contractor claims $700,000 due now
AUG. 7: Former Reagor-Dykes employees claim they were not paid
AUG. 6: Customers concerned over Reagor-Dykes 'unwinding' process
AUG. 6: Ford suit against Reagor-Dykes on hold while bankruptcy case proceeds
AUG. 3: Judge approves Reagor-Dykes employee pay
AUG. 2: Mayor: Downtown Lubbock growth to remain strong regardless of Reagor-Dykes future
INITIAL STORY: Ford Motor Credit sues Reagor-Dykes; R-D files for chapter 11 bankruptcy