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Convicted financier Durham says he can't afford a lawyer

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An Indiana financier and former chief executive of National Lampoon who was convicted of swindling investors out of about $200 million says he can't afford to hire an attorney to handle his appeal.

In federal court documents, Timothy Durham said his multimillion-dollar Indianapolis home is in foreclosure and all of his financial assets are tied up bankruptcy proceedings of the companies he used to control.

The appeal was filed Monday morning in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis.

Durham's home in Fortville, about 20 miles northeast of Indianapolis, has a $5 million mortgage but a free-market value of only $3 million, according to the documents.

Durham says his only income this year was $6,000 he received as a director of Dallas-based insurer CLST Holdings Inc. He also has stock in CLST and National Lampoon, the documents say.

Durham was sentenced to 50 years in prison last month on securities fraud and other convictions in the collapse of Akron, Ohio-based Fair Finance. He also was ordered to pay $202.8 million in restitution. Durham received credit for $6 million that already has been recovered.

Durham and two business partners were charged with stripping Fair Finance of its assets and using the money to buy mansions, classic cars and other luxury items and to keep another Durham company afloat. The men were convicted of operating an elaborate Ponzi scheme to hide the company's depleted condition from regulators and investors, many of whom were elderly.

Defense lawyers argued that Durham and the others were caught off-guard by the economic crisis of 2008, and bewildered when regulators placed them under more strict scrutiny and investors made a run on the company.

The trustee handling Fair Finance's bankruptcy did not return a phone call seeking comment Tuesday.

Durham's trial attorney, John Tompkins, said Tuesday that Durham would have a different attorney for his appeal. He said that Durham likely would be represented by a judge-appointed attorney or pro bono lawyer.

Tompkins said the appeal will likely argue that an FBI wiretap of Durham's cellphone was illegal. Tompkins sought to have evidence from those wiretaps thrown out, but the judge refused. Prosecutors said the wiretaps showed that Durham and his business partners discussed how to hide from investors that Fair Finance was running out of money in 2009.

Court documents also said that Durham would appeal the way in which investors' financial losses were calculated.

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  • Thanks for the link
    but this is the link that shows his mug shots. Scary dudes in there with him. http://bluhorse.com/Inmates/Grayson/Inmates.aspx
  • Tim's current housing status:
    Leitchfield, Kentucky. Lot of carbs there: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/541247-durham-filing.html
  • too bad
    A jury of your peers found you guilty. The FBI and who knows else proved you had a massive scam......and you want to appeal your sentence of only 50 years. Sorry I can't find any sympathy for your current situation. I guess you didn't cause that either.
  • 18,250 days to go
    And I can't afford a Bugatti. So what?
  • What a Total Loser
    If you can't pay the Piper - the just sit your butt down in jail for 50 years and take your lumps! I have no sympathy (except for the taxpayers who are required by the Constitution to pay his lousy legal bill.) He is a total sociopath.
  • another scam
    I can't believe the taxpayers will have to foot the bill for this horrible man's defense. He is Marcus Schrenker on steroids. For both of those guys, and all like them, I quote the old cowboys who knew how to deal with people like these: "Get a Rope"
  • D-Listers?
    Maybe Timmy should try to get some cash from all his D-list celebrities he hung around. or maybe he can ask all his local buddies to pay him back his 'related party loans'. Timmy Timmy Timmy, you are a pathetic fool! Its funny how you wanted to be the 'richest man in the world'...and now you are nothing but a broke loser who will die in prison.
  • Falling Out?
    Apparently there was some sort of falling out between Durham and his lawyer, John Thompkins. Thompkins could try to make things right by handling the appeal at no charge. That would be an altruistic move even though a little belated.
  • Maybe Carl can volunteer
    do the same kind of job he did for Charlie White, who is innocent and could not have dreamed of the nightmare representation he endured. Read his appeal.
  • Quite interesting
    Maybe Tim should have saved some of the money he stole instead of using it to stalk Greg, Cory, Larry Michael and me, and waste it on trying to be the big shot. Of course, Carl and Scott and Gary and Kato and all his friends could help fund his defense. After all, the have greatly enjoyed the accoutrements he bestowed upon them.

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