Abbott secures $20M settlement for investors

Keith Loria Sep. 9, 2009, 4:21pm


AUSTIN, Texas (Legal Newsline) - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced Friday that he has reached a settlement that will restore more than $20 million to defrauded investors.

Their money was frozen by the State pending a case with parties accused of running a fraudulent investment scam, but the Republican AG has arranged for the money to be returned to teachers and retirees who were promised additional financial security and larger returns on their investments.

According to state investigators, Howard G. Judah Jr. of Houston, a three-time felon convicted of financial crimes, and Gregory F. Jablonski of Castle Rock, Colo., sold unregistered securities to unsuspecting retirees.

Their Houston firm, National Life Settlements LLC, falsely guaranteed lucrative investment returns, misrepresented "life settlement" policy investment offerings, failed to disclose material information to investors, and committed multiple violations of the Texas Securities Act and Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, Abbott said.

Between Nov. 2006-Dec. 2008, the scheme raised approximately $28 million from 240 individual investors. That amount includes more than $3.5 million from employees who withdrew assets from their pension funds to invest in the defendants' scheme.

The investigation also found that the defendants' Internet-based advertisements and false statements constituted violations of the Texas Securities Act and Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

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