By Kathy Jefcoats
JONESBORO — An older brother of five-time world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield was taken into custody Wednesday when he showed up for his arraignment.
Luther “Bernard” Holyfield, 51, appeared in Clayton County Superior Court to plead not guilty to charges under which he was indicted May 1.
However, neither he nor his co-defendant, Reginald Darnell Steele of Reginald Steele and Associates, had been formally arrested on the charges. A sheriff’s deputy called Holyfield to the front of the courtroom and placed him in custody.
Holyfield re-appeared briefly when Judge Albert Collier called his case. The same deputy brought a handcuffed Holyfield back into the courtroom but Collier said his presence wasn’t needed since he’d already signed documents entering a not guilty plea to his part of the 16-count indictment.
Jail records show Holyfield is being held on $80,000 bond.
Steele never showed for the arraignment and Collier said a bench warrant remains active for the defendant.
According to one count in the true bill of indictment, Holyfield allegedly made a loan agreement and note as CEO of Liberty Enterprise Investment LLC and owner of Leap Part Inc. to buy and sell ATV parts to Patricia Durham when he was not registered as an agent of the securities. He is also accused of taking more than $500 from Durham as part of an alleged scheme.
Both men are accused in an alleged scheme to defraud Rodney J. Washington in an investment in an assisted living development. They are accused of taking more than $500 from Washington.
Steele and Holyfield are accused in another count of allegedly defrauding Washington in an investment scheme between Reginald Steele and Associates and alleged victim Roosevelt Ruise. They are accused of taking more than $500 from Ruise.
According to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office corporation records, Bernard Holyfield was the registered agent of Liberty Enterprise Investment LLC, which dissolved in 2009. The agent address is a home on Lake Jodeco’s Summit Drive in Jonesboro. According to county property records, the $156,029 home has been owned since 2006 by an Atlanta property management company.
While Holyfield’s youngest brother, Evander, is the more well-known of the two, Bernard Holyfield co-wrote “Holyfield: Humble Warrior” with him in 1996. Bernard Holyfield is known in Hollywood as an actor, producer and dancer.