Benny Judah, ordered to pay back $60 million from Lubbock ponzi scheme, files for compassionate release

Benny Judah, ordered to pay back $60 million from Lubbock ponzi scheme, files for compassionate release
Benny Judah (center) at the Lubbock County Courthouse in 2010 (Source: KCBD Video)

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Benny Judah, serving 25 years for his role in a Lubbock ponzi scheme, has filed a motion for compassionate release to home confinement, citing his age and vulnerability to COVID-19.

He originally applied for a reduced sentence in July of 2020. His application for compassionate release, written on Sept. 11, was filed with the court on Thursday, Oct. 15.

Inmates may apply for compassionate release under the First Step Act, passed in 2018.

Judah cited his low security status and conduct in prison, and says he has completed half his sentence of 25 years.

Judah, now 61, says he was in the hospital for three days due to COVID-19 back on Aug. 30 and says he is still having difficulty breathing.

Judah also disputes the amount of restitution that he currently owes. He says the original $60 million he was ordered to pay is now down to $25 million after his assets were sold, claiming that he has paid back $35 million to date.

Judah says he has earned multiple degrees during his time in confinement, including a Masters in Pastoral Ministry and a Doctorate in Divinity. He says he is currently working on a Doctorate degree in Christian Counseling.

Judah says his motion was handwritten because he does not currently have access to a typewriter or copy machine.

He is currently being held in the Federal Correctional Institution, a low-security facility, in Big Spring.

Judah was sentenced to the maximum 25 years in prison back in 2010 after pleading guilty in a ponzi scheme involving hundreds of Lubbock investors. He also pleaded guilty to money laundering and the sale of unregistered securities.

Prosecutors say he bilked nearly 300 investors out of more than $50 million and was ordered to pay $59 million in restitution.

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