Bankruptcy and Legal Issues and Investment Losses and Fraud and Banking & Finance and Investing and Tim Durham and Law

Latest Fair suits target Kato Kaelin, playmate, many others

February 7, 2012
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Fair Finance Co.’s bankruptcy trustee has filed a new barrage of lawsuits against a diverse range of targets, including the rapper Ludacris, former Playboy playmate Jamie Ferrell and former O.J. Simpson confidant Kato Kaelin.

Trustee Brian Bash since early 2010 has been trying to recover funds for investors of Ohio-based Fair, which was led by Indianapolis financier Tim Durham until his financial empire collapsed in late 2009.

The latest suits target Durham friends and business associates, as well as companies and charities, that records list as receiving loans or transfers from the indicted executive or his businesses in recent years. Bash contends the payments were fraudulent transfers that must be repaid because they were made when Durham and his companies were insolvent.

By the end of Friday, Bash had filed 39 lawsuits in just a two-day span. Other notable defendants include former IndyCar team Playa del Racing Inc., Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site Inc. and Henri Najem, who owns the Bella Vita restaurants downtown and on Geist Reservoir. His brother Anthony Najem, who co-founded Fishers-based construction firm Meyer Najem Corp., also is a defendant.

In addition, the trustee sued Michael Durham, Durham’s stepson from his marriage to ex-wife Joan SerVaas. Bash accuses Michael Durham of accepting $49,712 in transfers from Tim Durham.

Michael Durham is the second of Durham's family members to be targeted by Bash. Late last month Bash sued Durham's mother, Mitza Durham of Seymour, accusing her of receiving 58 checks or wire transfers totaling $831,000 from Durham from February 2006 through November 2009.

Another defendant in the new suits is Ricky D. Snow, former chief financial officer of Fair Finance, who is accused of making improper transfers that depleted Fair's assets.

Durham and two business partners, James Cochran and Snow, were arrested in March after being indicted on 12 felony counts, including conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud. They deny wrongdoing.

The new suits are part of Bash's contininuing quest to recover some of the more than $200 million that Fair owes more than 5,000 Ohio investors who purchased unsecured notes from the company.

Bash accuses the Najems of accepting nearly $2 million in transfers from Durham. Henri Najem is a former partner with Durham in several restaurants.

Former playmate Ferrell is accused of accepting $174,415 from Durham. The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site Inc., which oversees the former president's home, received $50,000, court papers allege. The suits say Kaelin received $23,700 and that the Ludacris Foundation Inc., a not-for-profit focused on improving the lives of disadvantaged young people, received $30,000.

Bash alleges Durham looted Fair after buying it in 2002, stripping the business of the financial wherewithal to repay the investors.

For all of IBJ's Durham coverage, click here.

 

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