Landan Mitchell Hiring A Low Point of Valley Heights Legacy

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Oct. 28, 2013 12:00 am  

As crime numbers went up in Valley Heights, Landan Mitchell was embezzling money from Henry Corp. (Photo by Luke Jones)

By Aug. 30, 2011, Landan and Samuel Mitchell were charged with multiple counts of theft of property, laundering criminal proceeds and attempting to evade state taxes. In particular, they were charged with bleeding Henry Corp. of more than $150,000, with Landan Mitchell diverting company funds toward things like his mortgage and improvements on his home in Little Rock.

“It was $185,000 we have substantiated as hard dollars,” Henry said. “There’s probably significantly more.”

Henry said his close friendship with Landan Mitchell — which Landan’s lawyer described as something more than platonic — was “all part of the deception. I wouldn’t be surprised if I wasn’t targeted from Day One. The thing is, regardless of how good your internal controls are, if your two top people — management and operations — are in cahoots together, there are no controls to be able to stop that.”

He said there was no doubt in his mind that the Mitchells were guilty. After a grueling nine-day trial, a Little Rock jury agreed with him — partially.

In December 2011, Landan Mitchell was sentenced to 12 years in prison, but Henry was denied his requested restitution. Landan Mitchell was fined $150,000 but had to pay Henry only about $30,000.

Samuel Mitchell pleaded guilty to his role in the scams, but, having no prior convictions, he was sentenced to just 10 days in jail. He was fined $1,000 and had to join Landan Mitchell in repaying the $30,000 restitution to Henry.

 

 

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