Arvest Bank Settles With 18 Dennis Smiley Creditors

by George Waldon  on Friday, Aug. 8, 2014 7:58 am  

Dennis Smiley

"They haven’t reached out to us," said Gary Golden, president of First State Bank of De Queen. "Whatever our attorney says will be our next move."

Dennis Smiley Sr. was drawn deeper into his son’s financial controversies because his name was signed to some of the delinquent loans.

The elder Smiley has denied signing any of the loan documents in contention, and his son has indicated in court documents that his father’s signature might be forged without identifying who was responsible.

"He worked at Arvest, and he was my friend," Gary Head, chairman, president and CEO of Signature Bank, said of Dennis Smiley Jr. "Maybe that’s why they didn’t try to settle with me."

Head worked at Arvest for 16 years and was president and CEO of Arvest Bank-Fayetteville before leaving to start Signature Bank in 2004.

More: Gary Head says he learned of the multimillion-dollar loan scandal in a phone call from Smiley himself.

David Matthews, a Rogers attorney representing Arvest in the Smiley litigation, declined comment on the absence of settlements with First State Bank and Signature.

Matthews also declined comment on any of the settlements with the 18 lenders who were dismissed from the lawsuit over possible claims against Smiley’s Arvest stock plans.

Smiley joined the banks in assigning any interest in the $552,000 to Arvest and exiting the lawsuit.

The 18 lenders who settled are:

  • BOKF of Tulsa
  • Bank of Fayetteville
  • Bank of the Ozarks in Little Rock
  • Benefit Bank of Fort Smith
  • Chambers Bank of Danville
  • Centennial Bank of Conway (successor in interest to Jonesboro’s Liberty Bank of Arkansas)
  • Delta Trust & Bank of Little Rock
  • First Bank of Hampton
  • First Federal Bank of Harrison
  • First National Bank of Fort Smith
  • Integrity First Bank of Mountain Home
  • First Security Bank of Searcy
  • First State Bank of Lonoke
  • First State Bank of Russellville
  • First Western Bank of Booneville
  • Legacy National Bank of Springdale
  • Summit Bank of Arkadelphia
  • Today’s Bank of Huntsville (formerly First State Bank of Northwest Arkansas)

Arvest was pulled into the middle of the financial fray because it controlled Smiley’s stock plans.

The bank also was exposed to potential liability because Smiley used his position inside the bank to have documents prepared that aided his alleged loan schemes.



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