Inside the Brandon Barber Case: Looking at His 5 Co-Defendants

by Chris Bahn  on Monday, Jun. 24, 2013 12:00 am  

Sources who were promised anonymity told Arkansas Business that Van Doren and Barber had business dealings before the activities that led to government investigation and the filing of charges. The extent of their prior involvement is not known.

What can be pieced together from the indictment is that Barber and Van Doren allegedly engaged in a scheme to hide money from Barber’s creditors between April 1, 2008, and Nov. 9, 2010. Barber filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2009, claiming $47.8 million in debts and no assets.

Van Doren, who recently told the court that his employment with CitiGroup ended in May because of the charges against him, is alleged to have accepted a briefcase containing approximately $30,000 in cash from Barber in 2008.

Barber, on another occasion, allegedly signed over a $64,000 check payable to himself to Van Doren.

Van Doren acknowledged under oath in a 2010 deposition that he knew of Barber’s pending bankruptcy proceedings when he took the money from his friend: “I knew he had creditors after him, so I did know there were probably people that were trying to recover it,” he said.

Federal prosecutors allege that Van Doren committed a crime by knowingly shielding the money to help Barber pay for personal expenses. While Barber was charged with 26 counts, Van Doren was charged with seven: three counts of money laundering and one count each of bankruptcy fraud, conspiracy to commit bankruptcy fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Each count carries potential prison time of between five and 20 years and fines up to $250,000.

S. Lance Cox, an attorney with Cox Cox & Estes of Fayetteville, represents Van Doren. An email with questions about Van Doren was submitted to Cox, but a response was not delivered by press time.

Van Doren, who no longer practices law but has been a regular donor to the UVA School of Law, is free on $25,000 cash bond. He is the only defendant who has asked to be tried separately from Barber. Cox requested in a separate filing that the charges against Van Doren be dismissed.

Neither motion has been granted.

K. Vaughn Knight

On its website, the Knight Law Firm of Fayetteville claims expertise in “organizational structures, business operations, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, financing transactions and contractual issues.” Real estate matters and tax planning are also focal points for the firm, founded in 2005 by K. Vaughn Knight.

Clients of the firm include, the company bio explains, “high net worth individuals and several large farming operations” throughout the state.



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