Fed Plans Seizure of Lab Owner's Properties

Fed Plans Seizure of Lab Owner's Properties
The federal government has filed a civil lawsuit to seize this home in Lavaca. (Google Maps)

Remember the case of Billy Joe Taylor, the 42-year-old Sebastian County man who was charged last month with health care fraud in connection with an alleged scheme to defraud the federal government of more than $88 million?

Well, the federal government wants to seize several pieces of property it says were bought with the proceeds of Taylor’s alleged crimes. The federal court docket doesn’t show if he’s entered a plea, and his attorneys haven’t returned a call.

While his criminal case moves forward, the United States of America filed several civil lawsuits last month in federal court in Fort Smith to have the properties forfeited.

The properties include:

► A 2,861-SF home at 201 Hwy. 255 in Lavaca that is touted on realtor.com as a “luxurious retreat that you won’t want to leave!” It has a pool and a separate mother-in-law house with a kitchen, garage and walk-in shower, the website said.

In court documents filed in that civil case, the federal government said that between June 18 and Aug. 10, 2020, Taylor paid nearly $165,000 from his bank account to the mortgage company for the property, which is in the name of his wife, Jennifer Taylor. “Based on my investigation, I believe this transaction constitutes a violation of Money Laundering,” Matthew Ferguson, a special agent with the FBI, said in the civil court filing.

Sebastian County property records show Jennifer Humphrey bought the house in 2016 for $399,900. The sellers were Russell and Stephanie Brown.

► A house at 2616 Carly Drive in Lavaca. This 1,872-SF house features “open concept living with a split bedroom floor plan,” according to realtor.com. It also has three bedrooms and two full bathrooms.

That house is in the name of Billy Taylor’s daughter, Morgan Taylor, Ferguson wrote in yet another civil filing.

Morgan Taylor bought the house for $225,400 on Sept. 10 from Justin Green Custom Homes.

Ferguson said that Billy Taylor transferred a total of $300,000 to his wife in September, and Jennifer Taylor then withdrew about $225,000 to buy a cashier’s check that was used to buy the house in the name of Morgan Taylor, Ferguson said in the filing.

► A three-bedroom, two-bathroom house at 8500 S. Camp Trail in Van Buren.

Billy Taylor allegedly transferred a total of $255,000 in June 2020 to a bank account Jennifer Taylor had just opened, according to Ferguson. Jennifer Taylor then allegedly used that amount to buy the property, which is in the name of Jennifer Taylor and Abrie Rainwater, Billy Taylor’s stepdaughter, Ferguson said. The seller was Greystone Construction of Western AR LLC.

► A 1,218-SF home at 200 E. Central Ave. in Central City (Sebastian County). Jennifer Taylor bought the property, which sits on nearly 7 acres, for $140,000 in July from Carolyn Sue and Riley Brown Jr., property records show.

Ferguson said the FBI’s Little Rock office believes there is probable cause to seize the properties because they were bought with proceeds that came from health care fraud, conspiracy to commit health care fraud and money laundering.

As of Thursday, the properties, which are listed as the defendants, haven’t filed a response.

Jennifer Taylor, Abrie Rainwater and Morgan Taylor, who have not been charged with a crime, could not be reached for comment.