LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – The property of a once-powerful Lubbock businessman continues to be sold off.
One of Benny Judah's popular businesses has been sold to pay his victims, and the real estate for a second well known Judah business has also been liquidated.
Judah admitted in November to bilking millions of dollars from hundreds of local investors in a ponzi scheme he ran through his Excel Lease Fund. Judah is in prison serving his 25 year sentence.
The two properties sold in 20 minutes for $3.05 million plus a ten percent buyers fee bringing the total to $3.55 million. Buyers could purchase one or both, but the highest bidder chose to buy both as a package deal.
"We had interest on our Web site from all over the globe China, Pakistan, Thailand, Canada, Mexico, U.S.," said auctioneer Brent Graves who is the president of United Country Alliance Auction and Realty.
Graves took bids for both The Falls and Las Brisas. There were around 100 to 120 people packed in the Excel building but our cameras were not allowed inside. Our photographer was asked to leave by the court appointed receiver, Fernando Bustos who is in charge of making sure Judah's properties sell.
Only a handful of people actually placed bids, but 27 registered. The appraised value of Las Brisas was $1.5 million, bidding started at $800,000. The popular steakhouse property sold for $1.7 million.
The appraised value of The Falls was $2.4 million, opening bids started at $650,000. The athletic club sold for $1.65 million. "We really thought somewhere between $3 and $4 million when it was all said and done," said Graves.
"They did not exceed what they were willing to spend and they think they got a good deal," said Lubbock attorney Mike McCauley, an attorney with McWhorter, Cobb & Johnson, who represented his client at the auction. "I represent a family, a locally owned entity that thought this facility needed to stay in the area," he said.
McCauley who added his clients did not want to see anything happen to the restaurant or the athletic club. He represents D. J. & D., LLC. The secretary of state's Web site indicates the entity was pending for review. More details on who the entity belongs to were not available.
McCauley, on behalf of his client, said they do not plan on changing the facilities – if anything they would want to improve them.
Closing on the property will take place sometime before Monday, August 23rd.
Las Brisas business operations will be sold separately.
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