FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) — The former CEO of a Texas-based company that sought to build a wind farm in Elm Springs has pleaded not guilty to federal fraud charges, according to an indictment unsealed Wednesday (June 5).
Jody Douglas Davis and Phillip Vincent Ridings are both charged in U.S. District Court with multiple counts of wire fraud and aiding and abetting; laundering of monetary instruments; and engaging in monetary transaction in property derived from specified unlawful activity and aiding and abetting.
Davis was CEO of Dragonfly Industries International, LLC, which sought to build a wind farm on 300 acres near in Elm Springs for electric power generation in 2015.
The city voted to annex the land for the project, but later repealed it when learning of Davis’ past criminal history.
According to the Associated Press, Davis had a history of fraudulent transactions and misleading investors.
The AP reported in 206 that Arkansas officials said Dragonfly sold three investment contracts that were not registered; that Davis failed to tell investors he was convicted in 2009 in Oklahoma of wire fraud and money laundering; and that he told investors a $10 million federal grant was imminent when the U.S. Department of Energy had previously said the project was unlikely to receive the grant.
One of the other men linked to the project, Cody Fell, has pleaded guilty to similar charges. A sentencing hearing is set for September.
Davis and Ridings are free on $5,000 bonds. Their trial is set for July 10.