Source: US State of South Carolina
(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 24, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that a Columbia man, Stan Ray Hudgins, has pleaded guilty to wrongfully taking $150,000 from an elderly victim. Hudgins met the victim when the victim’s son worked for Hudgins. Hudgins portrayed himself as a successful businessman seeking investment money, both to go to the ongoing business and for investment in new opportunities. Hudgins promised the victim a share of profits from all businesses in which the victim’s money was placed. However, Hudgins did not live up to his promises. In one case, Hudgins didn’t even buy the business he said he would and yet he told the victim he did and sought even more money to run the business that he never purchased. As a result of his actions, Hudgins pleaded to felony counts of violating the South Carolina Securities Act and Obtaining Money Under False Pretenses.
At the plea, Hudgins attempted to continue the charade by telling the court he was a former Navy SEAL and planning to use his VA benefits to send his grandchildren to college. The State responded that they had obtained Hudgins’ service record and determined that he was not a Navy SEAL and that he was lying to the court, just as he had to the elderly victim.
At the end of the case, Hudgins was sentenced to 10 years suspended to five years of probation, with other conditions. He was also ordered to pay $150,000 restitution to the victim.
Attorney General Wilson, who also serves as South Carolina’s Securities Commissioner, emphasized the importance of prosecutions such as this one. “Investment fraud crimes are particularly bad because they can result in the victim losing money they have worked years saving. When the crimes involve senior citizens, they can be particularly devastating since the senior may not have the income to replace the savings. This results in the senior’s lifestyle changing, and also may make them fearful to trust others.” He also emphasizes that people who offer securities in South Carolina usually need to be registered, and encouraged the public to call his office before investing to check if the seller and the security that they are offering are properly registered and, if so, check if there are any pending complaints or disciplinary actions against the seller.
The case was investigated by South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Special Agent Holly Siniard and prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Tracy Meyers. Mr. Hudgins was represented by Paul Reeves of Columbia.