The Fraudfather: Tony Rand's Second Criminal Fraud Bust Coincides With The First For His Five Sons

by George Waldon  on Monday, Aug. 29, 2011 12:00 am  

Ex-theater owner Tony Rand and his five sons have been convicted of scams totalling $110 million.

Jeff's sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled. The federal sentencing guidelines suggest that he will probably serve four to six years in prison. His plea agreement calls for him to pay full restitution to his victims, although the exact amount isn't tallied.

 

A Family Tradition

The Rand family's interest in the Texas oil and gas business even extends to Tony Rand's wife, Mary Ann, and their only daughter, Antoinette. The mother and daughter are managers of Sentry Energy Production LLC of Addison and directors of Reserve Production Inc. of Plano.

Little Rock Architect Gary Dean whose children grew up and went through school with the Rand boys, was stunned to learn of the family's fraud schemes in Texas.

"When you see all these kids growing up and all this happens," Dean said. "Golly, it's such a tragedy."

The ability to attract collection suits is a family trait that Tony Rand passed to his sons in the years preceding their criminal charges. The family patriarch's litigious magnetism was displayed 20 years ago when his movie theater business was falling apart and his financial misdeeds were beginning to be exposed.

Back then, Rand was asked why his companies were involved in so many lawsuits.

"They are insignificant as far as my total picture is concerned and insignificant as far as the effect on our welfare and our expansion plans," Rand told Arkansas Business in September 1989. "You step on toes, make mistakes, have some controversy. Who doesn't, particularly in dealing in Texas real estate?"

Edmund Pankau, a Houston private investigator who delved into Rand's financial dealings, had a different take.

"From our initial investigation and what I have seen since that time, it appears his business is a house of cards," Pankau told Arkansas Business nearly 22 years ago. "And it's all caving in."

Three months later, Pankau offered an even harsher assessment of Rand: "There's so many Tony Rands out there, but people don't want to believe they've been taken, too. I call this type of person a world-class con man."

 

 

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