Deceased Developer Gary Combs 'Fifth Man' in Barber Case

Deceased Developer Gary Combs 'Fifth Man' in Barber Case
Gary Combs

Gary Combs was heavily involved in northwest Arkansas real estate dealings and related legal battles throughout his life.

Not much seems to have changed in death for Combs, who died of cancer-related complications in California last August at the age of 59.

Creditors, including First State Bank of Lonoke, are looking for payment through Combs’ estate. First State, which is seeking $1.28 million, alleges in a filing that Combs kept money in an offshore account to protect it from creditors.

But that’s only part of why Combs’ name continues to surface in northwest Arkansas. Combs, as evidenced by real estate documents obtained by Arkansas Business and confirmed by knowledgeable sources, is the unnamed co-conspirator in an indictment charging Brandon Barber, Brandon Rains, Jeff Whorton and David Fisher with bank fraud and money laundering.

Barber, Rains, Whorton and Fisher face an Oct. 21 trial before U.S. District Judge P.K. Holmes in Fort Smith. Throughout the indictment against Barber, Rains, Whorton and Fisher there are multiple references to a “party known to the grand jury,” apparently because federal indictments are forbidden to name a party who isn’t charged — even if that party is deceased.

Combs was involved in a number of notable northwest Arkansas developments over the years, including Pinnacle Hills Parkway and the J.B. Hunt Parkway Tower. He also was involved in single- and multi-family housing developments throughout the region.

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