Curtis DeBerry, owner of Progreso Produce Ltd., has been indicted on nine counts including wire fraud, money laundering, falsified statements to a financial institution and false declarations in bankruptcy proceedings.
A grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the Western District in San Antonio handed down the indictment July 9. DeBerry, 53, was arrested in June and released on $50,000 bond. An arraignment is scheduled for July 22.
Progreso Produce filed for Chapter 7 liquidation in the fall. Before the filing, the indictment alleges DeBerry lied about deals with Mexican strawberry growers and Raleigh, N.C.-based L&M Cos. to bring in financing and lure in a potential buyer for the failing company.
Progreso Produce was started by DeBerry’s father Dale DeBerry more than 40 years ago.
Curtis DeBerry bought the company and the elder DeBerry remained in a sales role. Curtis DeBerry is the sole defendant in the indictment.
The indictment also alleges DeBerry falsified accounts receivable to secure about $7 million in refinancing, and lied to a potential buyer of the company, pitting the buyer against a nonexistent counteroffer to secure a $500,000 downpayment.
DeBerry could face jail time if convicted, with felony counts punishable up to 30 years, plus fines. He also is facing a civil suit related to the failed buyout.