Investment fraud suspect appears in court
NEWTON, N.C. -- The Catawba County man accused of bilking hundreds of people out of $25 million goes on trial Nov. 16.
However, J.V. Huffman Jr.'s attorney wants the trial moved to a different county, citing media coverage and concerns about getting a fair trial.
Huffman appeared in Catawba County court Monday. It's the first time he's been there in months. Previously scheduled court appearances were rescheduled.
Authorities say Huffman stole people's lifelong savings and spent it on himself.
Vickie Drum says Huffman stole her nest egg money -- and looking at him isn't easy.
"Didn't seem to be concerned about anything," she said, describing Huffman's demeanor in court.
Drum and other alleged victims say the waiting is hard.
Related Stories: &bull; &bull; &bull; &bull; &bull; &bull;
Huffman's appearance meant the victims had a private meeting with the district attorney, looking for answers.
"I understand the court system has to do A, B, C and D and we don't necessarily know what A, B, C and D is," Drum said.
Drum and others are also upset with the lack of information coming from the receivership set up to try to recover the money and give it back to those who lost it. Drum says the problem is many victims are elderly.
"The receiver hasn't given any written reports directly to any of the victims. It's only on a Web site. And half the people in this don't own a computer, doesn't know how to operate a computer. You've got a lot of retirees," she said.
Other questions without answers: How much money will victims get back, if any? And how will recovered money be split up? Huffman's estate auction netted $718,000 from a motor home and other vehicles he owned.
As far as a change of venue, the judge is expected to rule on it at a later date.