LUBBOCK, TX — Bart Reagor lost control of his West Texas car empire almost a year ago and faces the possibility of huge civil judgments from the collapse of the Reagor Dykes Auto Group, but he’s still trying to help his customers caught in the middle.
A day after Reagor broke his silence in his first interview with Dolcefino Consulting on the tsunami of lawsuits, the pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Abernathy reached out to Reagor for help.
The church had bought a van from the Reagor Dykes Ford Lincoln Plainview dealership after some church members won a $177 million lottery prize. The church tried for a year to get the title from Ford Motor Credit but never got help. In just three days, Reagor arranged to get the documents required to drive the van.
“Ever since I have been in the automobile business, if a customer called me with a problem I have always done everything I can to help them,” Reagor told Dolcefino Consulting.
In an email to the Abernathy faith leader, Reagor said “it makes me sick how much trouble you’ve had to go through! If I knew any of this was possible I would have had you buy your van somewhere else!”
The pastor from Abernathy praised Reagor for his help in a difficult time.
“Anytime a person is going through all that and takes time out to just deal with one person with one van, I think that’s pretty good. That speaks well in my volume about him,” Reverend Bolton told Dolcefino Consulting. “Bart is the type of person to me that relies on God. Bart is a man of his word.”
Reagor says it has been “like pulling teeth” to get Ford Motor Credit to take care of his customers since the collapse last July and he didn’t hold back with his anger at the company that made a lot of money off his success.
“I would never buy another Ford. I would never sell another Ford,” Reagor said.
Emails raise new questions about Ford’s auditing of the dealerships.
“These results really are fantastic,” Ford Finance Business Development Manager Gwen Schmucker wrote to Reagor in June of 2018. “We greatly appreciate you and value our partnership.”
Three weeks later, Ford accused the dealerships of tens of millions of dollars in fraud. There is no evidence that Reagor had a clue his chief financial officer, Shane Smith, had executed a long-term check kiting and floor plan fraud. Smith pleaded guilty and faces 20 years in prison.
Reagor says Ford internal auditors have a lot of explaining to do.
“My CFO worked for Ford for 12 years. All those people that were in charge of those audits were his friends,” says Reagor, who thinks Ford should explain to shareholders if they have investigated internally to see why this fraud was missed for so long if they were really watching.
Reagor had sold cars for Ford for decades and believes he had earned the right to know if there were problems, instead of a sneak attack by Ford while he was out of the country.
“I think that they came in aggressively like they did to basically try to bury the company as fast as possible so that they never had to deal with any ramifications… They knew they had liability,” Reagor said.
Reagor has hired a team of lawyers and investigators to “make sure that truth and justice is served on everybody that it needs to be served on.”
During the latest interview with Dolcefino Consulting, Reagor says some banks have some explaining to do as well.
“There are a couple of banks in particular that it looks like there was some kind of quid pro quo between them and my CFO, like hey, we’re going to let you do this, but we’re going to charge you astronomical fees,” Reagor told Dolcefino Consulting. First Capital Bank and Vista Bank are now part of the legal battle.
Thursday, July 11, 2019, a federal judge is expected to issue a judgment on Ford’s lawsuit against the Reagor Dykes Auto Group.
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