Damascus businessman John Stacks has been indicted by a federal grand jury on 11 charges related to a government loan.
Stacks, principal owner of HomeBank of Arkansas and owner of Mountain Pure LLC, a water-bottling company, was indicted in December on 11 counts related to a Small Business Administration disaster-related loan he obtained in 2009 after a tornado damaged his property.
The charges against Stacks are three counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of submitting a false claim to the SBA and four counts of making false statements. The government accuses Stacks of submitting false information about equipment that was supposedly damaged in the tornado and about Mountain Pure’s financial condition at the time the loan was made.
Stacks issued a statement denying any wrongdoing, but said the indictment is so vague he’s not “exactly sure what it is alleging.”
Stacks said he “wasn’t entirely surprised” by the charges, which came nearly two years after a January 2012 raid on the Mountain Pure plant in southwest Little Rock. That raid is the subject of a federal civil lawsuit filed by Mountain Pure, Stack’s son and other employees who were present when federal agents sealed and searched the premises.
In his statement, Stacks said he has complied with requests from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the SBA “at every turn.”
“The indictment filed this week is very vague, and to be perfectly honest, we’re not exactly sure what it is alleging,” the statement continued. “If it’s attempting to claim that I unfairly profited from the tornado, nothing could be further from the truth. I am a principal owner of a financial institution, and I know that bankers are under tremendous scrutiny, and bankers who also own other businesses even more so. All of my payments on this loan have been made on time, and after an IRS special audit following the raid last year, it was acknowledged in writing that my tax returns are complete and correct.”
No trial date has been set for Stacks.