Fort Smith Man Found Guilty of Bankruptcy Fraud and Felon in Possession After Jury Trial
FORT SMITH, AR—Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced today that Randall Bee “Randy” Blythe, age 58, of Fort Smith, was found guilty of three counts of bankruptcy fraud and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm after a four day jury trial in Fort Smith. The jury heard from a total of 19 witnesses and was presented with 65 exhibits. The Honorable Paul K. Holmes, III presided over the trial in U.S. District Court in Fort Smith.
U.S. Attorney Eldridge stated, “Fraud, to include federal bankruptcy fraud, is shameful, and will not be tolerated in the Western District of Arkansas. We remain committed to investigating and prosecuting those who perpetuate fraud, swindle others out of money, and engage in financial crimes. People who use the bankruptcy system to swindle and steal from others tarnish the system and do a disservice to the honest petitioners seeking a second chance.”
According to evidence presented at trial, beginning in September 2008 through July, 2009, Blythe, in contemplation of a bankruptcy case, knowingly and fraudulently transferred property belonging to himself, including six collector automobiles and over $150,000 in checks, to his mother’s company, Classic Cars of Northwest Arkansas, thereby concealing it from his creditors and the Bankruptcy Court. Blythe also fraudulently submitted a Statement of Financial Affairs in which he omitted those transfers and income.
Blythe, who was convicted of 21 counts of bank fraud in 2011, was also convicted of being a felon in possession of 11 collectible firearms. Blythe was originally indicted by a federal grand jury on March 19, 2014. Blythe’s sentence will be determined by the court at a later date after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record (if any), the defendant’s role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violations. The sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases will be less than the maximum. In this case, Blythe faces a sentence of not more than five years in prison or not more than a $250,000 fine, or both on each charge for counts one, two, and three. For count four, the maximum penalty is not more than 10 years, not more than a $250,000 fine, or both.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys’ Ben Wulff and Aaron Jennen prosecuted the case for the United States.