First Bank of Hampton Joins Line of Lawsuits Against Dennis Smiley

by Lance Turner  on Thursday, May. 1, 2014 11:58 am  

Dennis Smiley Jr.

It was Smiley Sr., in his answer to lawsuits by Bank of Fayetteville and Delta Trust & Bank of Little Rock, who first raised the possibility that signatures on some of Smiley loan documents might be phony. Smiley Sr. denied signing any documents associated with loans at the two banks, countering allegations that he was financially liable.

Smiley Jr. echoed his father’s statements in his only answer so far to the mounting lawsuits, filed last week. In response to Delta Trust’s lawsuit, Smiley Jr. denied most of the banks claims against him and acknowledged that his father’s signature on a promissory note "may not be the signature of Smiley Sr."

The possibility of faked signatures isn’t the only hint of possible fraud. In its lawsuit, First State Bank of Lonoke claims Smiley Jr. submitted fraudulent financial statements for 2011, 2012 and 2013 when applying for loans.

Smiley was the CEO of Arvest Bank’s operations in Benton County. He resigned in March. 

The court hasn’t set a date for a hearing in the case. Smiley Jr. has not been charged with any crime.

Also, Arvest on Thursday named Rodney Shepard as CEO of its Fort Smith operations. Shepard replaces former CEO Craig Rivaldo, who took Smiley’s place as CEO in Benton County.



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