FORT SMITH (KFSM) - The former Northwest Arkansas developer convicted in a $200 million fraud scheme was sentenced to more than five years in a federal prison on Tuesday (Oct. 28), according to officials.
He was sentenced to a total of 65 months with three years of supervised release, officials said. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bankruptcy fraud and money laundering. Judge P. K. Holmes, III presided over the sentencing, officials said.
Barber’s sentencing began at 9 a.m. before Chief District Judge P.K. Holmes in the Judge Isaac C. Parker Federal Building at 30 S. 6th St.
He appeared in federal court in Fort Smith last year, pleading guilty to two counts of fraud and one count of money laundering, in exchange for the remaining 24 federal counts being dismissed, Eldridge said at the time.
Other suspects named as co-defendants in the case have also pleaded guilty.
Eldridge said the maximum prison time for Barber’s conviction was 45 years behind bars.
U.S. Attorney Eldridge commented, “This case has always been about fraud. The Defendant’s efforts to deceive creditors, the Federal Bankruptcy Court, and others as to his true financial condition resulted in tremendous losses that struck at the heart of our local economy.
Barber was charged with several schemes to defraud banks, creditors, and the Federal Bankruptcy Court. Those schemes, as alleged in the indictments, include:
- Providing false and fraudulent financial information and statements to Legacy National Bank of Springdale in connection with loans to finance the Legacy Condominium building and project in Fayetteville;
- Providing false and fraudulent financial information and statements to Metropolitan National Bank of Little Rock and Enterprise Bank of St. Louis, Missouri, in connection with loans to finance the Bellafont project in Fayetteville;
- Concealing assets and income from creditors and the bankruptcy court by transferring funds to co-defendants, James Van Doren and K. Vaughn Knight or accounts controlled by them and using those funds for Barber’s personal benefit and expenses; and
- Falsely and fraudulently representing purchase prices for real estate known as Executive Plaza to First Federal Bank of Harrison, Arkansas, to obtain loan amounts exceeding the actual purchase prices and thereby generating excess cash without the Bank’s knowledge or approval. This conduct generally occurred from 2005 through 2009.