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Reagor trial: Defense asks judge to throw out DOJ evidence of leaked recordings

The federal trial is scheduled to begin in two weeks
Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 10:26 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) -Ahead of the first criminal trial against Bart Reagor, his defense team remains adamant the former auto tycoon is not guilty of bank fraud. Several pieces of evidence, to be presented by the prosecution, have come under scrutiny by the team in the days leading up to court.

In a trial brief filed on Tuesday, it writes “Mr. Reagor zealously denies he engaged in any criminal conduct” and he “never committed a crime.”

The former co-owner of Reagor-Dykes Auto Group is accused of transferring $1.7 million of a $10 million bank loan into a personal account violating the federal loan agreement.

Defense filings instead point the finger at both co-owner Rick Dykes and former CFO Shane Smith.

The trial brief alleges Dykes engaged in the same conduct as Reagor and it was Smith who “misled” both by “providing false financial statements” on a weekly basis.

The document goes on to explain, Reagor and Dykes were repaying themselves after injecting personal money into RDAG, claiming that is not a crime.

Both are scheduled to testify during the upcoming trial, Dykes for the defense and Smith for the prosecution.

The former has not been accused of a crime and the latter is awaiting sentencing for other fraud charges later this year.

READ MORE: Shane Smith, Steven Reinhart expected to testify in Bart Reagor trial

The defense has also objected to several pieces of the government’s evidence including leaked recordings of Reagor during business meetings.

In the first, Reagor reportedly states he “does whatever he wants” and “nothing he does is by accident.”

The second, made before the second disbursement of the loan in question in early 2018 allegedly explains how Reagor says he became wealthy by using quote “OPM” an acronym for “Other People’s Money.”

Transcripts provided by the U.S. Attorney’s office report that Reagor said on tape quote: “If you don’t have money you convince other people to give you their money so you can use their money to increase your net worth. That’s what I did.”

An email from Acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah to Bart Reagor's defense team lists two...
An email from Acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah to Bart Reagor's defense team lists two recordings of Reagor during business meetings to be presented as evidence in court.(U.S. Attorney's Office)

Reagor’s representation argues that they’re irrelevant to the case and “borrowing money is not a crime.”

The defense also claims the evidence was introduced as “character assassination” and should be inadmissible.

The prosecution maintains they show habitual behavior, where Reagor acts with “intentionality” and “lack of mistake” related to business.

The court has yet to side either way if the recordings are admissible or not.

The trial is scheduled to begin on Oct. 12 at the federal courthouse in Amarillo.

If convicted of bank fraud, Reagor could face up to 90 years in federal prison.

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