CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. -- A Catawba County man accused of stealing millions from investors will spend 30 years in prison.

J.V. Huffman Jr. was sentenced after pleading guilty to felony securities fraud.

Huffman is accused of running a Ponzi scheme for nearly two decades.

Investigators say he promised people a return on their money, but instead he allegedly used $25 million to fund his own lavish lifestyle.

I can tell you it was never an intent to rip off the world, Huffman told the judge Monday.

Huffman said his own financial problems prompted the Ponzi scheme that stole from friends, neighbors and fellow church members.

I certainly want to say that I'm sorry, Huffman said.

Some of Huffman's victims were in court Monday and they said they do not feel sorry for him.

A little over $100,000 for me, my retirement, said Martha Fox. It's gone.

Huffman targeted the elderly, many of whom have since lost their homes, businesses and any sense of security.

For many victims, the 30-year sentence isn't enough.

The rest of his life in prison, because we're not going to get anything back, we're not going to get our money back, said Brenda Sigmon.

(NewsChannel 36 reporter Tony Burbeck contributed to this report.)

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