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.

"Even when he was in his heyday, he was a slow pay," said Bob Laman, a former general contractor who dealt with Rand back in the day.

That was evident even back in the 1970s, when he was evicted from his office space at 2500 McCain Place in North Little Rock for failure to pay his rent.

Rand was asked about his suspect reputation for handling money in a September 1989 interview with Arkansas Business.

"I think we're good money managers," he said. "I don't recall ever not paying a debt in 21 years."


‘The Darndest Things'

A bad memory when it comes to repaying investors is another Rand family characteristic.

William Pierre of Muskegon, Mich., was a determined elderly investor who lived to see the Rands answer for their crimes. He was a relentless town crier screaming for politicians and law enforcement agencies in Texas, Washington, D.C., and anywhere else that might help bring the Rands to justice. (See his letter below).

He believed the Rands trumped up expenses on dry holes and withheld money on producing wells.

John Hays, the 69-year-old publisher of the Morning Paper in Ruston, La., knows well the games played by the Rands and others in the oil and gas fields.

"I've been writing about this shit for 35 years," Hays said earlier this month. "And for some reason, I'm on the sucker list. Last Friday, I got three calls."

He believes part of the Rands' game was "dry holing," overselling shares in a well that isn't expected to produce any oil or gas. It's a scheme eerily similar to that of "The Producers" in the classic Mel Brooks comedy that was turned into a Broadway musical.



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