U.S. District Judge P.K. Holmes on Wednesday ordered former northwest Arkansas real estate developer Brandon Barber to pay $450,000 in restitution to First Federal Bank, a figure significantly less than what the U.S. Attorney’s office calculated last fall.
In July, Barber pleaded guilty to one count of each conspiracy to commit bankruptcy fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to commit bank fraud. He was sentenced on Oct. 28 to 65 months in federal prison.
As part of the plea agreement, Barber was ordered to pay restitution, which the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas said should be $16.2 million. The victims due restitution, according to prosecutors, are Legacy Bank, Enterprise Bank and First Federal Bank.
Barber didn’t dispute that he owes First Federal $550,000, but he said in his filing that the government “has failed to meet its burden of proof” regarding the rest of the amount.
“The Government presents no evidence indicating that Legacy Bank and Enterprise Bank were unaware that the financial statements submitted by [Barber] were inflated,” according to the filing by Barber’s attorney W. Asa Hutchinson III of Rogers. “The Government has investigated and prosecuted this matter for years and yet no evidence has been offered to show that the banks did not know that the financial statements were inflated.”
On Wednesday, Holmes agreed with Barber, finding that prosecutors failed to show evidence that caused losses to Legacy Bank and Enterprise Bank.
More: Read Holmes’ order here (PDF)
Holmes’ order divided the restitution between Barber and his co-defendant, Jeff Whorton, who in August pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and money laundering. Under the order, Whorton is to pay $100,000, and Barber is to pay $450,000.