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Judge denies Bart Reagor’s motion to dismiss bank fraud charges

Bart Reagor leaving federal court on Aug. 3, 2020 (Source: KCBD Video)
Bart Reagor leaving federal court on Aug. 3, 2020 (Source: KCBD Video)
Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 4:20 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2021 at 11:01 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk has denied Bart Reagor’s motion to dismiss the bank fraud charges against him.

Bart Reagor and his attorneys filed a motion Sept. 14, 2021 asking the court to dismiss a bank fraud indictment against the former owner of RDAG. Reagor was indicted in April on two counts of bank fraud and one count of lying to the bank. He is accused of diverting over $1.7 million in business bank loans to personal accounts. Reagor pleaded not guilty. The trial, originally scheduled for June 1, was rescheduled for October 12, 2021.

In the motion, Reagor’s attorneys sought dismissal on the bank fraud counts for “failure to state an offense.”

The government’s indictment alleges a single omission: that Mr. Reagor failed to disclose how he would use these “working capital” funds once disbursed. It does not allege any series of deceptive acts or transactions Mr. Reagor committed to “execute a scheme or artifice” to defraud IBC, within the definition of 18 U.S.C. 1344(2). The “indictment alleges omission as the scheme to misrepresent.” It also says, “The Fifth Circuit, while noting that half-truths and omissions can suffice for criminal fraud, nonetheless has only decided this issue in the context of a defendant’s multiple misrepresentations.”

Here, the government’s indictment accuses Mr. Reagor only of failing to disclose to IBC that he planned to divert some—but not all—of the loan’s proceeds into his personal account “for personal expenses.” It also alleges that the loan’s proceeds were for “working capital.” This working capital is alleged to have gone into the accounts of an entity in which Mr. Reagor was personally invested. The indictment does not allege that he made any affirmative misrepresentation regarding these funds, where they would go, or how they would be used. It instead alleges a single omission about how these funds would be used. In that respect, the term, “working capital,” is itself a nebulous, industry term that confers little meaning as to precisely how these funds were supposed to be used. Perhaps the government is aware of some other alleged misrepresentations on which they plan to rely at trial. If so, they needed to have alleged them. Instead, the indictment is silent as to: 1) what Mr. Reagor omitted about how he and his entity were going to use these funds; and 2) what prohibited Mr. Reagor from using the funds in the way in which it alleges he used them. This shifts the burden onto the defense to both guess as to the government’s allegations and put forth its own theories about what Mr. Reagor was required to disclose—if anything—but did not. The defense has no such constitutional obligation under either due process principles or the Fifth Amendment. These vague allegations do little to place Mr. Reagor on notice of the allegations against which he must defend. They do even less to meet the common law definition of fraud needed to allege a “scheme and artifice” pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 1344(2). The indictment thereby shifts the burden onto Mr. Reagor to prove his innocence, instead of forcing the government to be held to theirs. The defendant respectfully moves this Court to dismiss Counts One and Two of the government’s indictment, in accordance with the foregoing.

Reagor’s motion to dismiss argued the indictment alleges only an omission, which cannot support a bank fraud charge.

According to a filed response from Prerak Shah with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas, the court should deny the request in part saying “[Reagor’s] argument misunderstands the definition of a false representation” for the purposes of bank fraud rules.

The DOJ states the indictment “properly charged” the elements amounting to bank fraud, and Reagor was put on notice for “what conduct the government alleges was illegal.”

Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk made his decision on that motion on Sept. 21, 2021, stating the indictment provided enough specifics to give Reagor proper notice so he can prepare his defense.

Because the motion was denied, Reagor will stand trial next month and if convicted, faces up to 90 years in federal prison.

Read more on the RDAG and Bart Reagor case here.

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