Arkansas Business' 25 Outlaws, Scoundrels & Posers (25th Anniversary)

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Mar. 23, 2009 12:00 am  

The tale began taking a felonious turn in December 1990 when Rand was convicted and sentenced to three years of probation for passing bad checks.

12. John McClellan
Mercy was mixed with less admirable qualities when John McClellan was sentenced to four years of probation, 40 days of weekend detention and a $10,000 fine for bank fraud on May 14, 1993.

The grandson of the late U.S. Sen. John L. McClellan received loads of letters of support from family friends. The same couldn't be said of well wishes from business associates and partners.

If the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is supposed to be an accurate depiction of reality, there were two realities portrayed under oath in Little Rock District Court that day. Was McClellan an angelic and sorrowful developer who made a mistake, or a sociopath who slipped in and out of the truth as easily as drawing a breath?

McClellan was indicted on 10 counts of defrauding Richardson Savings & Loan of Dallas in connection with a $519,819 kickback scheme on the construction of west Little Rock's Market Street Plaza. He and his McClellan Development had been the subjects of an FBI investigation since 1987.

13. Ronald Whitlow
The tiny town of Alicia made the map of global commerce when Ronald Whitlow popped up on our radar screen in July 1993.

Whitlow claimed the Lawrence County community as the home of his one-man headquarters for CrossParex International, a private company that seemed to come out of nowhere with reported sales of $648 million in 1992.

Except for his home office, CrossParex operations were said to be based in Panama on 2,000 acres Whitlow owned and on which he harvested cut flowers sold in Europe, Central America, South America, Mexico, Canada and the United States.

There was a good reason no one had ever heard of CrossParex, too. Whitlow's tale of being a flower plantation owner and greenery exporter extraordinaire was so much barnyard fertilizer.

But it was a tale that for a couple years fooled Dun & Bradstreet Information Services, which dutifully published information on his phantom enterprise. His related would-be venture to set up hundreds of retail outlets for his Panamanian flower farm withered and died.

14. John W. "Jay" DeHaven
If controversy were a drink, then Jay DeHaven qualifies as a straw that stirred it during Arkansas Business ' 25 years.

And controversy was never swirling more for DeHaven than when he was hit in August 1993 with a 32-count indictment in connection with Maumelle's Dogwood development.



Please read our comments policy before commenting.