A Federal Grand Jury has indicted the owner of a Little Rock-based bottled water company on eleven counts, including wire fraud, money laundering and making a false statement. U.S. District Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas Christopher Thyer made the announcement.
John Stacks owns Mountain Pure Water LLC, which has facilities in Arkansas, Texas and Mississippi. In 2008, he sought and received a $703,000 loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA). The indictment says Stacks, who is also president and CEO of Home Bank of Arkansas, obtained the loan under false pretenses, as he claimed he had over $500,000 dollars worth of equipment at his farm in Damascus and that the equipment was destroyed by a tornado in May of that year.
Arkansas Business reports that Stacks had filed a lawsuit earlier this year after federal authorities raided his Little Rock offices in search of evidence. Stacks claimed the raid violated his constitutional rights.
A reenactment of the raid was featured in an online documentary called "Rampant Injustice." In the documentary Stacks and some of his staff air their grievances at the federal agents.
“They told us to sit down. They told us to shut up. They told us they would deal with us in their own time. And told us again we need to leave or we’d be arrested for obstruction of justice. I told them this was my place of business, I was the owner and I thought I had a right to know what was going on,” he says in the video.
If he is convicted of all eleven counts, which consist of three counts of wire fraud, three of money laundering, four of making a false statement and one count of submitting a false claim to the SBA, Stacks could face a combined maximum penalty of 40 years in prison.