Another RDAG employee pleads guilty in auto giant criminal case

Proposed settlement would release Rick Dykes in RDAG bankruptcy case

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Thirteen former Reagor-Dykes Auto Group employees have pleaded guilty in federal court in connection to the auto giant criminal case.

Andrea Kate Phillips is the latest to plead guilty. She was hired by RDAG in 2010 and in 2011 was promoted to office manager of RDAG’s subsidiary, Reagor-Dykes Auto Company LP, which is the Ford store in Plainview. In 2017 she was transferred to RDAG’s corporate office as an accounting associate.

Court documents show she admitted from a date not known until July 27, 2018, she knew about the wire fraud, and concealed the information by providing false dates on buyer orders.

She pleaded guilty to misprision of a felony on Jan. 20, 2020 and her sentencing date was scheduled yesterday. Misprision means the deliberate concealment of one’s knowledge of a treasonable act or a felony.

She faces up to three years in prison, a fine not to exceed $250,000 and up to a year of supervised release. An amount of restitution was not listed in the plea agreement, which is different than the other 12 who have pleaded guilty.

According to other court documents, employees routinely dug through records for vehicle identification numbers (VIN) of cars Reagor-Dykes had already sold, then submitted new loan applications to Ford Motor Credit Company using the old VINs – falsely indicating that the company was seeking a loan in order to repurchase the vehicle for resale, many have admitted. After acquiring the new floor plan funding, instead of re-buying the car, Reagor-Dykes used the ensuing loan to cover other expenses, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI.

The investigation revealed at least 19 bank accounts from several banks, involving nine different RDAG entities, had been used to kite checks, according to federal court documents.

Ford Motor Credit previously extended floor plan loan funds to Reagor-Dykes to purchase vehicles, but court documents say the RDAG accounting staff “routinely and intentionally” failed to make these payments back to Ford Motor Credit, in what they referred to as “selling vehicles out of trust.”

The documents also described the way RDAG managers and staff would prepare for what were supposed to be surprise audits from Ford by creating false paperwork on vehicles sold out of trust. This made it appear as though the vehicles were recently sold.

When Ford Motor Credit auditors visited the dealerships, RDAG controllers and office managers would give false paperwork in order to pass the audit.

12 other former RDAG employees have also pleaded guilty to charges, including Reagor-Dykes Chief Financial Officer Shane Andrew Smith.

Others include:

  • Shane Smith’s, former RDAG Chief Financial Officer, sentencing was rescheduled for Jan. 7 in Amarillo. He faces up to 20 years in prison, a fine not to exceed $250,000 and possible restitution of more than $50 million. The rescheduled sentencing was again rescheduled. However, the new date has been sealed in federal documents.
  • Sheila Miller’s sentencing was set for Jan. 23 in Amarillo. The new sentencing date has not been scheduled. She faces up to five years and a fine not to exceed $250,000 and possible restitution of more than $23 million.
  • Diana Urias’ sentencing was set for Jan. 23 in Amarillo. The new sentencing date has not been scheduled. She faces up to five years and a fine not to exceed $250,000 and possible restitution of more than $23 million.
  • Paige Johnston’s sentencing was set for Feb. 19, 2020 in Amarillo. The new sentencing date has not been scheduled. She faces up to five years and a fine not to exceed $250,000 and possible restitution of more than $27 million.
  • Lindsay Williams’ sentencing was set for Feb. 19, 2020 in Amarillo. The new sentencing date has not been scheduled. She faces up to five years in prison and a fine not to exceed $250,000, and possible restitution of more than $23 million.
  • Pepper Laray Rickman, 47, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud before Magistrate Jude Lee Ann Reno in Amarillo in late October. She faces up to five years in federal prison and may be required to pay at least $27 million in restitution. Her sentencing has been scheduled for March 5, 2020 in Amarillo.
  • Sherri Lynn Wood, 53, leaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud before Magistrate Jude Lee Ann Reno in Amarillo in late October. She faces up to five years in federal prison and may be required to pay at least $27 million in restitution. Her sentencing has been scheduled for March 5, 2020 in Amarillo.
  • Brad William Fansler pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud on Monday in an Amarillo federal court. He, like many of the others who have pleaded guilty, communicated through email discussing the fake flooring. He faces up to five years and a fine not to exceed $250,000 and possible restitution of more than $27 million. His sentencing is scheduled for March 12, 2020 in Amarillo.
  • Ashley Dunn faces up to five years in prison, a fine not to exceed $250,000 and possible restitution of more than $23 million. Her sentencing has been set for April 7, 2020 in Amarillo.
  • Whitney Erin Maldonado faces up to five years in prison, a fine not to exceed $250,000 and possible restitution of at least $27 million. Her sentencing has been set for April 14, 2020 in Amarillo.
  • Elaina Marie Cabral faces up to five years in prison, a fine not to exceed $250,000 and possible restitution of at least $27 million. Her sentencing has been set for April 14, 2020 in Amarillo.
  • Mistry Canady, faces up to five years in prison, a fine not to exceed $250,000 and possible restitution of at least $27 million. Her sentencing hearing is set for May 12, 2020 at 1:30 pm in Amarillo.
  • Andrea Kate Phillips, faces up to three years in prison, a fine not to exceed $250,000 and up to a year of supervised release. An amount of restitution was not listed in the plea agreement, which is different than the other 12 who have pleaded guilty. Her sentencing has been set for June 30, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. in Amarillo.

Copyright 2020 KCBD. All rights reserved.