NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - When news broke that Nacogdoches businessman George Hudgins allegedly defrauded investors through the operation of a commodity pool, investors scrambled to keep their names out the public eye. Nacogdoches attorney Jeff Badders is a victim and understands how they feel, but when asked for an interview with East Texas News 9's Donna McCollum he agreed. He's the first investor to publicly share his experience.
Trust in George D. Hudgins and trust in other investors is what Badders says perpetuated an alledged fraud scheme that's changing lives. " We had no reason to distrust Mr. Hudgins, as a small town CPA from Fairfield and here in Nacogdoches. What initially started apparently as a something small grew," said Badders.
It grew into a commodity pool that suffered losses of more than $25 million according to the trading commission. The successful attorney invested four million dollars. CPA's, physicians and well known businessmen invested too. Some less. Some more. The thought was, what's good for them, must be good for me. Badders says their losses aren't as gripping as others. Badders said, "An 84 year old lady who knew Mr. Hudgins her whole life and he talked her into investing $800,000 which was her entire life savings. Some folks borrowed against their home, home equity loans. They put their entire retirement, their Ira's, with Mr. Hudgins. "
There were those who showed diligence. What they saw, they believed. Badders said, " Folks actually went and met the people in Chicago and saw Mr. Hudgins trading on the floor and had no knowledge whatsoever he was losing money, that he wasn't making money. That he was capable. That he wasn't licensed."
So now Badders is going after the Chicago firms who represented Hudgins. He's hired his own legal team. So far about 80 investors want to join in. Badders shared, " I spent 2 months working on it. We will be putting this case together and we'll be moving forward to try to collect all the money the receiver can't collect from those responsible third parties. We got to bring justice to this very unfortunate situation for so many families in Nacogdoches. "