Bankruptcy Didn't Stop Barber From Living the Good Life

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Dec. 6, 2010 12:00 am  

A phone number for Barber has been disconnected, and he didn't respond to a message left on his Facebook account, where he listed he lived in New York.

Fayetteville attorney K. Vaughn Knight, who represented Barber in the bankruptcy case and in more than 25 lawsuits, declined to comment on Barber's next move. Knight said he no longer represents Barber.  

The bankruptcy hearing, though, revealed new facts about Barber, whose real estate empire collapsed almost as quickly as it was built.

Boom Times

A 2005 profile in CitiScapes Metro Monthly of Fayetteville said Barber and his wife, Keri, were "not the stereotypical developers. They are a young, vibrant, forward-thinking couple who have barely reached their thirties. Their amazing story reads like a fairytale come true."

At the bankruptcy hearing, Barber testified about those heady days, saying properties were flipping so fast that he often had buyers lined up for parcels that he hadn't even finished buying.

In one subdivision, Barber said, he bought 39 lots for $60,000 to $65,000 each and had them resold within 90 days for $90,000 to $95,000 each.

"But that was very rare," he said. "The market was going good."

In late 2005, he started developing a seven-floor, 37-unit condo project in downtown Fayetteville called the Legacy Building.

Barber, through one of his several companies, Lynnkohn LLC, applied for a $16.7 million loan from Legacy Bank for the project. Barber personally guaranteed the loans.

As part of the loan application, Barber submitted personal financial statements for 2004 in which he claimed net worth of $17.4 million.

Legacy learned years later, though, that the statement contained inflated values of his companies. For example, Barber reported the value of Barber Properties LLC as $1.36 million, but internal company documents showed the value as negative $364,000 and his federal tax returns showed negative $796,000 in the LLC's capital accounts, Ney said.



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