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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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>>

  • KCBD VIDEO: Abner interviews Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood

    KCBD VIDEO: Abner interviews Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood

    Thursday, March 30 2017 7:02 PM EDT2017-03-30 23:02:20 GMT
    Source: KCBD PhotoSource: KCBD Photo

    Our very own Abner Euresti got up close and personal with Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood tonight, ahead of the first performance in their Lubbock concert series.

    Our very own Abner Euresti got up close and personal with Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood tonight, ahead of the first performance in their Lubbock concert series.

  • Strong opposition to two bills affecting Texas educators

    Strong opposition to two bills affecting Texas educators

    Thursday, March 30 2017 6:45 PM EDT2017-03-30 22:45:31 GMT
    Clinton Gill, Texas State Teachers Association (Source: KCBD Video)Clinton Gill, Texas State Teachers Association (Source: KCBD Video)

    There's some strong opposition to two bills affecting Texas educators. Groups are urging teachers to contact their elected officials and ask them to vote no.

    There's some strong opposition to two bills affecting Texas educators. Groups are urging teachers to contact their elected officials and ask them to vote no.

  • Breaking

    Couple accused of bigamy, sexual assault with underage girl

    Couple accused of bigamy, sexual assault with underage girl

    Thursday, March 30 2017 6:33 PM EDT2017-03-30 22:33:42 GMT
    Carl Parhams Jr., Shara Lynn Parhams (Source: Lubbock County Detention Center)Carl Parhams Jr., Shara Lynn Parhams (Source: Lubbock County Detention Center)

    Shocking details have been released about a married couple that is now facing sexual assault and bigamy charges after police say they sexually assaulted an underage family member.

    Shocking details have been released about a married couple that is now facing sexual assault and bigamy charges after police say they sexually assaulted an underage family member.

Powered by Frankly