FBI: Local Businessman Defrauded Banks, Put Money Toward Beaver Lake House

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The owner of a Fayetteville heavy equipment company pleaded not guilty this week to charges he defrauded four local financial institutions and used the money as a down payment on a Beaver Lake house and collectable car.

Andrew Judkins, 41, appeared in federal court in Fayetteville on Monday to face charges of bank fraud, wire fraud and money laundering, according to U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge’s office. The case is being brought against the suspect by the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the IRS.

The Bixby, Okla., man ran A. Camp Equipment, a heavy building equipment company in Fayetteville. Eldridge said Judkins obtained floor plan financing from two banks and two lending companies to buy equipment such as dump trucks, bulldozers and tractors. The suspect then refused to pay the institutions back and sold the equipment, pocketing the money made from the transactions, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

A superseding indictment alleges Judkins misled Bank of the Ozarks, First Security Bank, Wells Fargo Equipment Finance and GE Commercial Distribution Finance Corporation by giving them false equipment rental agreements, causing the lenders to believe their collateral was not sold, but was rather being rented out. Judkins instead sold the equipment and used the resulting money to put a $200,000 down payment on a Beaver Lake house, Eldridge said.

Judkins also used the money to buy a $47,000 collector’s car, along with other personal purchases, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Judkins’ federal trial is set for Feb. 10 at 9 a.m. in Fort Smith, according to court records.

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