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Federal jury finds former Arbuckle Wilderness owner not guilty of fraud, conspiracy

The former owner of Arbuckle Wilderness in Oklahoma was found not guilty of federal bank fraud and conspiracy charges late Thursday in a case that stemmed from improper loans that contributed to the failure of a Davis bank.
by Randy Ellis Modified: August 9, 2014 at 10:00 am •  Published: August 8, 2014
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The former owner of Arbuckle Wilderness was found not guilty of federal bank fraud and conspiracy charges late Thursday in a case that stemmed from improper loans that contributed to the failure of a Davis bank.

Arbuckle Wilderness is an exotic animal park near Davis.

Victor Earl Garrett, the park’s former owner, was indicted by a federal grand jury that alleged he conspired with W.A. Moore Jr. in 2009 — when Moore was president of First National Bank of Davis — to take out a bank loan that exceeded the federal lending limit.

After Garrett had reached his legal lending limit, a straw man was used as an intermediary to hide from bank examiners an additional $481,247 loan, the grand jury alleged.

Garrett admitted that he received the proceeds from the excessive loan, but denied any intentional wrongdoing.

“He did get the money, but he never intended to defraud the bank and never conspired with anyone,” said John Coyle, Garrett’s attorney, adding that his client used his loans for Arbuckle Wilderness.

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by Randy Ellis
Investigative Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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He did get the money, but he never intended to defraud the bank and never conspired with anyone.”

John Coyle,
Victor Earl Garrett’s attorney

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