Jury deliberations continued Monday (Nov. 18) in federal court for Brandon Barber’s former attorney who is accused of helping him hide assets from creditors and courts while Barber was filing for bankruptcy.
Northwest Arkansas lawyer K. Vaughn Knight, whose office is in Fayetteville, is accused of aiding the former developer in a multimillion dollar fraud scheme. Knight is charged with 11 counts of fraud and money laundering which carries a maximum penalty of 140 years in prison and $4 million in fines, according to court documents.
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 remained unresolved, according to Washington County Circuit Court records.
In debt and collecting lawsuits, Barber filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2009, but was 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.