Judge lets Reagor conviction stand, denies acquittal motion

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — After a back-and-forth between the defense and prosecution in the case of Bart Reagor regarding whether he should be acquitted following his October conviction, U.S. District Judge Matthew  J. Kacsmaryk – who oversaw the case – decided to let the original ruling stand.

The defense’s motion for Reagor’s acquittal, or for Reagor to receive a new trial, came in mid-December after a jury convicted the Reagor-Dykes Auto Group co-founder of making false statements to a bank, as well as finding him not guilty for two counts of bank fraud. Reagor was convicted of intentionally using $1,766,277.77 out of a $10 million capital loan from the International Bank of Commerce (IBC) for personal gain after officials told the bank that it was solely to be used for the growth of the auto group.

In the defense’s initial motion, officials argued the definition of “working capital” was unclear through the trial, saying that Reagor had the belief that he could use those loan funds to provide owner distributions as “working capital.” The prosecution’s response referenced specific emails to auto group leadership, outlining the planned use of the “working capital” loan funds, details not disclosed to officials from the auto group’s legal department or IBC representatives.

According to court documents, a defendant is allowed to challenge the “sufficiency of the evidence to sustain a conviction.” Through this process, the Court has the ability to find whether a “rational jury could have found the essential elements of the offense charged beyond a reasonable doubt” with the evidence presented during the trial.

Kacsmaryk said there was evidence for a rational jury to find that the prosecution “met its burden of proving the elements of false statement to a bank beyond reasonable doubt.” In the documents, Kacsmaryk referenced multiple pieces of evidence presented during the trial, including the email Reagor sent to Shane Smith, the auto group’s former chief financial officer, and Reagor-Dykes Auto Group co-founder Rick Dykes, outlining the process of the use of the working capital loan, as well as audio recordings of Reagor explaining how he used “other people’s money” to increase his own net worth.

“The court concludes that sufficient evidence existed for a rational jury to determine that: (1) Defendant made a false statement to IBC, as charged; (2) Defendant knew the statement was false when Defendant made the statement; (3) Defendant did so for the purpose of influencing a lending action of IBC, convincing IBC to give Defendant a loan for working capital; and (4) IBC was federally insured,” the documents read.

Kacsmaryk also denied the additional motion from Reagor’s defense team for a new trial. Reagor’s sentencing is scheduled for 10 a.m. March 10, in Amarillo Federal Court.

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