SEC complaint says Lubbock businessman defrauded investors - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/22/09

SEC complaint says Lubbock businessman defrauded investors

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Wednesday night, one Lubbock business stated it will be business as usual. The Falls Tennis and Athletic Club sent that assurance out to its members Wednesday evening.  The notice came after NewsChannel 11 told you Benny Judah is at the center of a complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Judah is president and sole owner of Excel Financial Company. The complaint affects dozens of local businesses and hundreds of local investors.  It states that Judah is accused of defrauding investors out of millions of dollars over the past three years.  Authorities froze all of his assets, including his local businesses, many of which you probably know of.

Investigators with the SEC filed the complaint late Tuesday. Authorities say Judah, 50, engaged in fraudulent offering of debenture securities, told people they were investing in one thing, when in fact they were funding others. Investigators say that includes day trading and loans to Judah and other businesses he controlled.

Court papers say Judah's business; Excel issued $40-million worth of the fraudulent securities, held by about 240 people, mostly in the Lubbock area. The complaint says Judah said he wanted to raise $50-million for the company, but grossly overstated the value of Excel's assets.  Investigators say he lost at least $5-million in day trading, and approximately $20-million more in loans.

NewsChannel 11 checked, and found Judah owns or has leadership positions with many Lubbock businesses including The Falls Tennis & Athletic Club, Las Brisas, Harrigan's, Excel Travel, Zoo-Concepts, August Foods, and many more.  Once these businesses are served with the official court papers, their managers will be bound to take instruction from a court appointed receiver instead of Judah.

Through his attorney, Judah released this statement to NewsChannel 11: Benny Judah regrets his role in the events that have led to the SEC filings. His thoughts are with his many friends and investors who have stuck with him all these years. Benny further wants to assure everyone that he is fully cooperating with the SEC to maximize the return to his investors.

It's important to note this is a civil complaint. Right now, Judah does not face any criminal charges.

This isn't the first complaint filed against Judah. In 2001 the court ordered him to pay $50,000 in civil penalties for violating securities registration and anti-fraud laws.  NewsChannel 11 continue to follow this story and bring folks the latest at it develops.

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