LUBBOCK, Texas (KLBK) — Bart Reagor sat down with KLBK News’ Terri Furman to talk about everything from his personal life to his regrets.
This was the first time Reagor had talked to media since mid-2018.
Reagor Dykes Auto Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy August 1 of that year after Ford Motor Credit sued for default.
Since then, 15 former RDAG employees have pleaded guilty to federal crimes, including former Chief Financial Officer Shane Smith.
In April 2021, Reagor was federally indicted on two counts of bank fraud and one count of making false statements to a bank.
In October, he was found guilty on the false statements charge and not guilty on both bank fraud charges. Sentencing was tentatively set for February 2022, and Reagor faces up to 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1 million.
You can watch the segment as it aired on KLBK News using the video player above, or watch the full 37-minute interview below.
Reagor said life has been very different in the years since, but that a lot of good things have happened. He said two of his children have gotten married, and he became a grandfather.
Reagor also explained that he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in May 2020 and diagnosed with prostate cancer in late 2020. He said he is treating the Parkinson’s with medication and had surgery to remove the prostate cancer in January 2021.
“I’m still the same Bart Reagor I ever have been,” he said when asked if there was anything he wanted people to know about him.
“I love giving back to people,” he said. “I’m an honest guy. I didn’t have anything to do with any of this fraud.”
Reagor said he doesn’t blame anyone for thinking negatively of him after everything that has happened.
“I think people thrive on negativity because it makes them feel better about themselves,” he said. “And so I don’t blame them. They don’t know me.”
Reagor said the main thing he was guilty of in the whole situation was trusting people.
“If anything, I’m guilty of being too trusting,” he said. “I trust people, you know. I mean — I’m a trustworthy guy.”
Reagor explained that he trusted former CFO Shane Smith’s expertise in finance, as well as the expertise of Smith’s team.
“I trusted – I mean – Shane was a good friend of mine,” Reagor said. “Everybody who worked at Reagor Dykes Auto Group was a good friend of mine. All those people who worked in the financial [sector] — I trusted them.”
When asked what he would say to people who had troubles following the downfall of RDAG in 2018, Reagor said he was sorry it happened but stated he didn’t have any control over the situation.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I’m sorry that happened. But, I mean, I didn’t have any control over it … The last time Bart Reagor had any control over what was going on with the money, or anything in Reagor Dykes Auto Group, was July 21 , the day before I left on vacation.”
Ford Motor Company filed a lawsuit against RDAG on July 31, 2018. The next day, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
“My customers are my friends,” Reagor said. “And they always have been … and I don’t want to let them down, but I didn’t have the money. All the money I had, everybody took from me.”
When asked if he suspected Shane Smith of anything before it all came out, he said no.
“Shane was my friend … I never suspected it,” Reagor said.
“I’d like to talk to [Shane Smith],” he said. “Because I have some suspicions about some things, but there was no way that what Shane did could’ve happened without me knowing it – unless there were people on the other side that were hiding it from me too.
He said he doesn’t think Smith could have done what he did without someone at Ford Motor Credit knowing.
“They were doing audits every quarter,” he said. “I mean, they couldn’t. There’s no way — it’s impossible.”
Reagor said he has a lot of regrets, but he believes God has a plan for him.
He added that a friend of his told him that God knew what was going to happen before he was even born.
“And he said, ‘he’s going to use you to do his will,'” Reagor said. “And so, I’ve decided to stay strong.”
“God told me during the night two years ago — I asked him, I said ‘God, what do I need to do?’ And he said, ‘you don’t have to do anything,” Reagor said.
Reagor said he doesn’t believe justice has been served in his case.
“I don’t feel like I’ve gotten my fair share of justice in the courtroom so far,” he said.
Reagor also mentioned he plans to appeal his criminal conviction.