Former De Queen businessman sentenced for fraud, laundering
By Patrick Massey

A former De Queen business owner has been sentenced to five years in a federal penitentiary for financial services fraud, according to U.S. investigators in the Western District of Arkansas.

The Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigation Division announced that Steven Alan Standridge, age 58, of Mount Ida, was sentenced earlier this month in federal court to 60 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release and victim restitution totaling $2,700,000 for money laundering and wire fraud. 

Standridge is the former owner of Seal and Hodge Insurance in De Queen as well as several other institutions in southwest Arkansas. He sold the De Queen business and others in 2010 after allegations surfaced that he falsified $4 million worth of collateral used to buy a small workers' compensation insurance company in 2009.

Standridge pleaded guilty on July 2, 2014 to one count of wire fraud from a 23-count Indictment that was issued by a Federal Grand Jury in the Western District of Arkansas, and to one count of money laundering from a 12-count Indictment issued by a Federal Grand Jury in the Eastern District of Arkansas which was transferred to the Western District of Arkansas. 

The Honorable Susan O. Hickey presided over the sentencing in the United States District Court in Hot Springs.

“Steve Standridge used his standing in the community to deceive and defraud both individuals and hometown banks out of millions of dollars,” said United States Attorney Christopher Thyer.  “Standridge’s indictment establishes that the United States will seek justice for those harmed by such actions.  And the sentence sends a clear message that crimes such as these will not be tolerated and will be pursued vigorously.”

To read the complete article, please see the Dec. 11 edition of The De Queen Bee.




Thousands turnout for area Christmas parades
Looks like Christmas – The official lightening ceremony of the Sevier County Courthouse was held before the parade Saturday evening.


By Patrick Massey

Thousands of people turned out to watch and participate in Christmas parades across Sevier County on Saturday. Beautiful and warm weather greeted spectators at parades in Horatio, Lockesburg and Saturday in contrast to last year, when freezing temperatures dampened the spirits of some parade-goers.

Parade organizers in Horatio and Lockesburg noted strong attendance at their events, with parents, children and older folks alike turning out for a chance to see the Christmas floats and Santa.

In De Queen, hundreds arrived along the parade route an hour early to ensure a good spot from which to watch and enjoy the parade. UA Cossatot volunteers set up a hot chocolate and tamale booth which became a popular spot for spectators during the De Queen parade. The group raised money for various student activities at the college.

De Queen parade goers were also treated to a nativity scene set up and manned by young members of the Pentecostals of De Queen church. The parade again featured the popular Festival of Trees in which the public was asked to vote on the best Christmas trees decorated by local groups.
As in previous years, the official lighting of the Sevier County Courthouse during the De Queen parade was a big hit.

Several spectators said this year's parade in De Queen was one of the best in memory, with a wide variety of floats by area businesses and organizations.

Gabriel Hernandez, who had a family member participating in the folkloric dancing put on by St. Barbara Church, said his family has attended the parade for almost two decades and this year's was one of his favorites.

"I can't exactly tell why, but this parade was probably the best I've seen," he said. "I guess it seemed like a bigger parade than usual and I thought the floats were all really great."

Megan Lee-Smith, who serves as president of the De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce - which hosts the De Queen Christmas parade each year - agreed that this year's event was one of the best in recent years.

"Attendance was great, the weather was perfect and it seemed like we had most of the town there," she said, laughing. "There was a lot of diversity in the floats too which I think people really enjoyed."
She estimated well over a thousand people turned out just for the De Queen parade.

To read the complete article, please see the Dec. 11 edition of The De Queen Bee.



2012 Graduation

2012 Graduation

Tri State Business Directory

STORIES WE ARE FOLLOWING
DQVFD to sell rural memberships
KCS Holiday Express in De Queen this Friday
Authorites make arrests after rash of reported burglaries
LOCAL NEWS
Lions Club radio auction is Dec. 8-9
De Queen City Council accepts 2015 budget
Applications now available for Rescue Unit’s Toys for Tots event
DQPD, sheriff’s office provide safety tips for holiday season
SPORTS
De Queen jr. girls win two at jamboree
Basketball holiday lull to end Dec. 27
De Queen jr. girls win Dierks tournament
Genoa edges Lady Leopards
Leopards begin off-season
Initial UACCC soccer season a success
Leopard, Lion clash opens roundball season
Leopards fifth, ninth at state meet
Leopard rally falls short at White Hall
Leopards snap skid with win over Magnolia

OBITUARIES
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