Judah admits to running Ponzi scheme, faces 25 years behind bars - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/12/09

Judah admits to running Ponzi scheme, faces 25 years behind bars

By Ann Wyatt Little  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – The Lubbock businessman who admitted to swindling millions from his investors by convincing them they were pouring money into a healthy business investment pleaded guilty Thursday.

Nearly 300 victims and their families lost money in what prosecutors are now calling a substantial Ponzi scheme. Judah admitted that he lost $50,161,707.  Just because he pleaded guilty to two charges doesn't mean his 300 victims should expect to see their money anytime.

Judah had nothing to say before walking into the Mahon Federal Building Thursday for his hearing. The Lubbock businessman admitted to laundering money and selling unregistered securities. After a brush with the SEC in 2001 Judah continued to engage in fraudulent practices. He sent his victims fake balance sheets and loaned himself money without telling his clients.

“There are in excess of 250 victims nearly 300,” says Federal Prosecutor Dick Baker who adds that many will forever be impacted by Judah’s greed. “This is a substantial Ponzi scheme that involves $50 million. Based on my experience with Ponzi schemes the victims generally do not come out whole,” he added.

Judah was emotionless as U.S. Marshals took him into custody. He faces the maximum of 25 years in prison and a fine of $500,000. He confesses to losing nearly $50 million and agreed to pay more than $48 million in restitution as part of the plea negotiation. Receivers are working to find the missing money and track down all of his assets, but no one knows for sure what will be left after all is said and done.

Baker says when the bottom falls out of the economy Ponzi schemes tend to topple and more white-collar crimes are committed. “If it looks too good to be true then it probably is,” says Baker who urges investors to be careful.

NewsChannel 11 asked Judah after he pleaded guilty if he had anything to say to his victims, he had no comment. His attorneys did not want to comment either.

Judge Sam Cummings has ordered a pre-sentencing investigation. Judah will remain in the Dickens County Correctional Facility until the judge determines his sentence which will most likely take six weeks.

©2009 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Benny Judah Plea Agreement
Read the plea agreement in the Benny Judah criminal case. (Note: Document may take a few moments load. You will need Acrobat to open this file.)
Benny Judah Factual Resume
This is the factual resume detailing what Benny Judah admits to as part of the plea agreement. (Note: Document may take a few moments load. You will need Acrobat to open this file.)
  • Local News on KCBD.comNewsMore>>

  • Leak crackdown talk yields rare Comey, Trump agreement

    Leak crackdown talk yields rare Comey, Trump agreement

    Friday, April 20 2018 1:03 AM EDT2018-04-20 05:03:06 GMT
    Friday, April 20 2018 4:05 PM EDT2018-04-20 20:05:32 GMT
    (AP Photo/Susan Walsh). Copies of the memos written by former FBI Director James Comey are photographed in Washington, Thursday, April 19, 2018. President Donald Trump told former FBI Director James Comey that he had serious concerns about the judgment...(AP Photo/Susan Walsh). Copies of the memos written by former FBI Director James Comey are photographed in Washington, Thursday, April 19, 2018. President Donald Trump told former FBI Director James Comey that he had serious concerns about the judgment...

    President Donald Trump told former FBI Director James Comey that he had serious concerns about his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

    President Donald Trump told former FBI Director James Comey that he had serious concerns about his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

  • Wells Fargo fined $1B for mortgage, auto lending abuses

    Wells Fargo fined $1B for mortgage, auto lending abuses

    Friday, April 20 2018 9:33 AM EDT2018-04-20 13:33:09 GMT
    Friday, April 20 2018 4:04 PM EDT2018-04-20 20:04:50 GMT
    (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File). FILE - This Aug. 11, 2017, file photo shows a sign at a Wells Fargo bank location in Philadelphia. The New York Times and other news outlets are reporting Thursday, April 19, 2018, that federal regulators plan to fine Well...(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File). FILE - This Aug. 11, 2017, file photo shows a sign at a Wells Fargo bank location in Philadelphia. The New York Times and other news outlets are reporting Thursday, April 19, 2018, that federal regulators plan to fine Well...

    Wells Fargo fined a combined $1 billion by federal regulators for abuses tied to its mortgage and auto lending businesses.

    Wells Fargo fined a combined $1 billion by federal regulators for abuses tied to its mortgage and auto lending businesses.

  • Students begin school walkouts on Columbine anniversary

    Students begin school walkouts on Columbine anniversary

    Friday, April 20 2018 12:26 AM EDT2018-04-20 04:26:49 GMT
    Friday, April 20 2018 4:04 PM EDT2018-04-20 20:04:46 GMT
    (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File). FILE - In this March 14, 2018 file photo, young demonstrators hold a rally in front of the White House in Washington. Another wave of school walkouts is expected as students honor victims of gun violence and push for gu...(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File). FILE - In this March 14, 2018 file photo, young demonstrators hold a rally in front of the White House in Washington. Another wave of school walkouts is expected as students honor victims of gun violence and push for gu...

    Another wave of school walkouts is expected as students honor victims of gun violence and push for gun control.

    Another wave of school walkouts is expected as students honor victims of gun violence and push for gun control.

Powered by Frankly