Fort Smith Man Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Bankruptcy Fraud and Being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm
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 sentenced to 24 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $468,309.58 in restitution on three counts of Bankruptcy Fraud and one count of being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm. On November 20, 2014, a jury found Blythe guilty of the charges following a four day jury trial. The Honorable P.K. Holmes, III presided over the sentencing hearing in The United States District Court in Fort Smith.
U.S. Attorney Eldridge commented, “This defendant fraudulently concealed assets from his creditors and from the Bankruptcy Court. This type of fraud will be prosecuted to the fullest extent in the Western District of Arkansas. People who use the bankruptcy system to discharge debts while hiding assets tarnish the system and do a disservice to the honest petitioners seeking a second chance.”
“The Defendant’s efforts to deceive the Federal Bankruptcy Court as to his true financial condition undermine the integrity of the system,” stated Special Agent in Charge David T. Resch, Little Rock Federal Bureau of Investigation. “We will continue to work together with the United States Attorney’s Office to send a clear message to those that participate in fraud of this nature.”
According to court records, beginning in September, 2008 and continuing 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 was originally indicted by a federal grand jury on March 19, 2014, charging him with devising a scheme and artifice to defraud his creditors, the bankruptcy trustee and the Bankruptcy Court. On April 17, 2009, Blythe filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Arkansas on behalf of his wife, Greta Blythe, and himself doing business as entities Tri-Eagle Enterprises, Inc., Dewalt Acceptance, Inc., Western Arkansas Motor, WD&G Properties, LLC, Elizabeth Hilton Management, Inc., and Western Motorsports, Inc. On July 27, 2009, Blythe and his wife were granted a discharge by the Bankruptcy Court of the Western District of Arkansas. Blythe misled the Bankruptcy Court and the Bankruptcy Trustee by disclosing assets of only $460,090.28. Blythe operated and controlled various business entities primarily involved in the sale of used vehicles, many of which were classified as “classic” or “collector” cars. Blythe created multiple entities which were owned in whole or in party by Blythe or other entities controlled by Blythe; these entities in addition to the above ones listed included Randy Blythe Dream Cars, Vento Motorcycles USA of Fort Smith, Vento Motorcycles USA of Northwest Arkansas, and Western Arkansas Motor Company. On December 22, 2008, “Classic Cars of Northwest Arkansas, Inc.” (“Classic Cars”) was created by Blythe’s mother. Classic Cars opened a First Western Bank Account on January 15, 2009, and between February 4, 2009, and April 13, 2009, in checks payable to Blythe and his various entities, $96,467.72 was deposited into that First Western Bank account. These funds were fraudulently omitted from Blythe’s Bankruptcy schedules and statements of financial affairs and not disclosed to the Bankruptcy Court as required. Between April 20, 2009, and July 27, 2009, the date of Blythe’s bankruptcy discharge, an additional $30,489.86 in checks payable to Blythe and his various entities were deposited into the First Western Bank Account. No accounts receivable were listed in Blythe’s Bankruptcy filings. Additionally, between December 22, 2008 and June 10, 2009, five vehicles owned by Western Arkansas Motor were transferred to Classic Cars and were fraudulently omitted from Bankruptcy filings and not disclosed to the Bankruptcy Court as required. An additional vehicle and a valuable set of collectible firearms were kept by Blythe and fraudulently omitted from the statement of financial affairs and were not disclosed to the Bankruptcy Court as required. 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.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ben Wulff and Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Jennen prosecuted the case for the United States.