Law enforcement seeking assistance from potential victims in alleged fraud
Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Travis Allen Blount, Jr., aka Travis Allen, or Allen Blount, 56, of and his wife, Sandra J. Blount, age 47, both of Kirbyville, Mo., each appeared separately last week in United States District Court for arraignment on charges related to a scheme to defraud involving classic and vintage cars.
Judge Mark E. Ford presided over both hearings, and each defendant pleaded not guilty to all charges. Travis Blount previously lived in Harrison and Hot Springs. Before moving to Arkansas, Blount lived in Louisiana. The defendants are scheduled for trial on April 6 before United States District Judge P.K. Holmes III.
"We are committed to identifying and prosecuting all types of fraudulent schemes that prey on innocent people," Eldridge said. "We ask for the public's help with identifying all of the victims in this case, to ensure that justice is pursued for all fraudulent conduct involved. Potential victims should contact law enforcement ... with any relevant information."
As alleged in the complaint, the Blounts operated two car lots, "Corvettes and Classics" in Harrison and "Al's Hot Rods" in Kirbyville. The Blounts made agreements with victims to sell classic and vintage vehicles on consignment. Instead of compensating victims, prosecutors allege that the Blounts frequently sold cars without paying the owners and accepted payments from buyers without delivering the vehicle or title.
A federal grand jury charged Travis Blount with one count of conspiracy to defraud, three counts of mail fraud, four counts of wire fraud, two counts of interstate transportation of goods to conceal a scheme to defraud and four counts of money laundering. Sandra Blount was charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud, one count of aiding and abetting mail fraud, one count of aiding and abetting wire fraud, one count of aiding and abetting interstate transportation of goods to conceal a scheme to defraud, and one count of aiding and abetting money laundering.
This case is being investigated by the Financial Crimes Task Force in the Western District of Arkansas, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, Homeland Security Investigations, the Fayetteville Police Department and the Harrison Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyra Jenner is prosecuting the case for the United States.
Anyone with information regarding the case is asked to contact Special Agent Tim Arsenault at 479-571-9763.