Brandon Barber Under House Arrest, Also Faces New York Charges
The high-priced former Northwest Arkansas developer who was indicted on 27 fraud charges last week in Arkansas now also faces charges out-of-state, according to federal court documents.
Brandon Barber is set to appear in federal court in Fayetteville on April 15, but first he has to get out of New York.
Barber was arrested last week in New York after a Grand Jury in Fort Smith indicted the former star businessman. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in southern New York has now submitted documents accusing Barber of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Barber was arrested March 20 and held in a Manhattan jail, where he was later released on $500,000 bond, with several stipulations. Barber is to submit to pretrial supervision, home detention and electronic monitoring, leading up to his court date in Fayetteville.
He is also not allowed to travel out-of-state, except to Arkansas, according to court documents submitted in New York’s southern district.
Barber was bonded out of jail with $50,000 from Kristen Foodim, according to court documents. A Kristen Foodim in New York City is listed on LinkedIn as a marketer for the Meredith Corporation, a media and marketing company involved in magazine and book publishing.
Barber is being represented in Arkansas by Asa Hutchinson III, Asa Hutchinson’s son. He has also retained a New York attorney for his potential charge in that state, according to court documents.
Barber faces 27 counts of various fraud and money laundering charges and, if given the maximum penalties, could spend the rest of his life behind bars.
One of Barber’s entities, Lynnkohn LLC, filed for bankruptcy in 2008, after which Barber filed for bankruptcy and allegedly hid assets from creditors and the court, according to the indictment.
Barber also has several unresolved debt cases in the area for millions of dollars, including such plaintiffs as Arvest Bank, EMW Enterprises, Simmons First Bank of Northwest Arkansas and First State Bank of Northwest Arkansas, according to court documents.
Bill Clark, who represents Arvest Bank in its case against Barber, told 5NEWS the debt case remains unresolved and he is not sure how Barber’s recent arrest will impact any potential resolution.
Four other men were also indicted on various fraud charges with Barber, including K. Vaughn Knight, James Van Doren, Jeff Whorton and Brandon Rains. Knight is Barber’s attorney in Fayetteville.
Knight and the other men have not been arrested, but have received a summons to appear in federal court. In the meantime, Knight carries on his usual business at his Fayetteville law firm and told 5NEWS he has been advised by his attorney not to talk about the case.
Less than a decade ago, Barber, then in his 20s, was one of the most sought-after developers in the Northwest Arkansas. He founded the Barber Group in Springdale and tackled several high-profile area projects such as the Legacy Building and the Bellafont condominiums in Fayetteville. He even proposed the 15-story Divinity Hotel in Fayetteville in 2006.
At the height of his local career, Barber would throw lavish parties at a hangar at the Springdale Municipal Airport, inviting hundreds of guests at a time.
Court records show that as the money flowed, Barber took on massive debt, taking out millions of dollars in loans from local banks. Litigation from the financial institutions ensued, and years later, several court cases by banks and area entities against Barber remain unresolved, according to Washington County Circuit Court records.
In debt and collecting lawsuits, Barber filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2009, but is accused of hiding his assets from creditors. A year later, he was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated for the second time in recent years, police records show. His development company also filed for bankruptcy, and he moved to New York.
Click here for more coverage of Brandon Barber.
Click here to find out more about Barber’s alleged accomplices in Northwest Arkansas.
Watch 5NEWS reporter Jocelyne Pruna’s coverage of Barber’s arrest and subsequent updates: