November 3, 2014
By Bob Coleman
Editor, Coleman Report
Reports Arkansas Business’ Gwen Mortiz;
The charges all related to $526,100 in loans he got from the SBA to replace storm losses under the terms of a federal disaster declaration. Federal prosecutors presented witnesses who said that water-bottling equipment that Stacks listed as lost in the storm were not on the property at Damascus in the first place, and they argued that Stacks misrepresented his financial condition in order to get the loan.
In testimony that ultimately didn’t persuade the jury, Stacks said he only took the SBA up on its offer of a loan after discovering that his storm-damaged property was under-insured. He denied trying to mislead the SBA.
He acknowledged being frustrated with having to deal with “15 to 25” different people at the SBA, and he said he eventually complained to his U.S. senator and representative, but he didn’t say which ones. He took his complaints public after federal agents from the FBI and SBA raided the plant by producing and posting online a “re-enactment” called “Rampant Injustice.”
According to Stacks’ testimony, he claimed personal net worth of $21 million as of June 2008, just after the storm, and $29 million the following January, when he was finalizing the SBA loan.
John will be sentenced at a later date.