IberiaBank's Fraud Suspect Identified

by Gwen Moritz  on Monday, May. 11, 2009 12:00 am  

Dana Washburn

• Colon and Dana Washburn and their company, Beau Chene Farms Inc., were longtime customers of First Community Bank of Jonesboro, which was sold to IberiaBank and merged with Pulaski Bank & Trust of Little Rock in 2007. First Community had extended the Washburns a $700,000 second mortgage on their Beau Chene house in 2002, and it had been repeatedly extended and modified.

• On May 2, 2008, the Washburns refinanced two existing loans — one of $2.3 million and one of $500,000 — and borrowed an additional $265,000 with promissory notes secured by a brokerage account at Stephens Inc.

• On May 22, the Washburns' company, Beau Chene Farms, refinanced the second mortgage, which had a principal of $610,500.

• On Aug. 12, the Washburns renewed another $600,000 loan against the Stephens brokerage account.

• In September, after Pulaski Bank made some inquiries into the status of the Stephens account, Dana Washburn said the account had been transferred to Raymond James Financial Services Inc. On Oct. 6, the Washburns signed the paperwork giving Pulaski Bank a security interest in the Raymond James account. The bank alleges that Daymon Taylor posed as an account representative for Raymond James and provided "false and fraudulent information," while Betty Taylor allegedly created an e-mail account that was used to provide fraudulent information to Pulaski Bank.

• "Pulaski Bank became suspicious … when it was unable to confirm the existence of the account" at Raymond James. The debt became delinquent, so Pulaski Bank asked for more collateral, which came on Nov. 26 in the form of more security interest in their house.

• A week later, on Dec. 2, the Washburns were in default on $3.736 million in principle and interest on the loans supposedly secured by their brokerage account, and Beau Chene Farms was in default on the second mortgage. Pulaski Bank filed its first complaint in Benton County Circuit Court on Dec. 19.

Personal History
According to Securities & Exchange Commission filings, Colon O. Washburn, 63, joined Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville in 1971 and remained there until January 1993. His ultimate titles were senior vice president and executive vice president of the Sam’s Club division.

Coinciding with his departure from Wal-Mart, Beau Chene Farms Inc., a real estate development company, was incorporated in Arkansas by Colon Washburn and his then-wife, Harriette (who is now married to retired Wal-Mart executive Glen Habern). Beau Chene Farms developed the subdivision of the same name in Rogers that remains one of northwest Arkansas’ most exclusive residential neighborhoods.

In April 1994, Arkansas Business reported that Beau Chene Farms had begun construction on Beau Terre Office Park in Bentonville, which the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal later described as northwest Arkansas’ “original retail vendor haven.”

Colon and Harriette Washburn started with a $1.25 million, 35,000-SF building, and the expansion continued long after the Washburns divorced in 1997. Colon quickly married Dana Taylor, a former co-worker at Sam’s Club who is about 20 years younger.

Last week, Dana Washburn answered her desk phone at Cameron Smith Associates, a Bentonville executive recruiter and staffing agency that specializes in working with Wal-Mart vendors. According to the agency’s Web site, she is a member of the “Wal-Mart Bentonville team.”

 

 

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