Durham asks court for five-year sentence

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Convicted Ponzi schemer Tim Durham is requesting a much shorter prison stay than the life sentence federal prosecutors want him to serve.

Durham, set to be sentenced Friday on fraud charges related to the collapse of Fair Finance Co., is asking for a five-year sentence that would include three years in prison followed by two years of home confinement.

Durham made the request in a lengthy, 60-page federal court filing Monday in which his lawyer, John Tompkins, asks Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson to carefully review the filing, because Durham’s “freedom, for the rest of his life, is at stake.”

A grand jury in March 2011 indicted Durham, business associate James Cochran and former Fair Finance Chief Financial Officer Rick Snow on charges of wire fraud, securities fraud and conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud.

A jury convicted Durham on all charges and Cochran and Snow on some charges in June. All three are scheduled to be sentenced Friday.

According to Tomkins, a presentencing report is asking that Durham be sentenced to 225 years in prison and ordered to pay $209 million in restitution.

In his filing, Tomkins called the recommendation "absurd" and said the presentencing report "is heavily influenced by an erroneous loss calculation under the advisory guidelines."

"There is no need to incapacitate Mr. Durham beyond [five years] to prevent him from committing further crimes, given his extraordinarily low risk of recidivism, or to deter others from similar conduct," the filing said.

Durham and Cochran bought Akron, Ohio-based Fair in a 2002 leveraged buyout. According to court documents, Durham drained tens of millions from the company by making loans to himself and failing businesses he owned. Millions also went toward Durham’s mansions, a yacht, part ownership of an airplane and extravagant gambling trips.

In the years after Durham and Cochran bought Fair, the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Securities repeatedly allowed the company to sell additional unsecured investment certificates to as many as 5,000 Ohioans. The sales continued even after Durham drained the firm of more than $100 million through insider loans—and even after it ceased providing audited financials to the division’s examiner.

In the Monday filing, Tompkins argues that Durham was a law-abiding citizen with no criminal history before the jury returned its guilty verdicts. He was hard-working, deeply involved in his community, and a businessman whose efforts had employed hundreds of people, Tomkins said.

He said Durham never intentionally defrauded the investors, and that actual losses they suffered were brought on by the recession as much as Durham's actions.

“In this case, there is absolutely zero evidence that Mr. Durham subjectively intended any investor to experience a loss, and that’s what the law requires if ‘intended loss’ is to be used for the sentencing calculation,” Tompkins said.


  • Not criminal?
    I read with disgust the gall his attorney has to suggest Timothy has not committed criminal acts. He didnt just defraud all of us. He ruined many lives that cannot be repaired. He ruined his own parents marriage from what I have read. He ruined his sisters marriage. He ruined the Republican party, which even Obama couldn't do. And HE has ruined his own life. None of us who have been victimized by him deserved any of this. He has done it to himself and deserves to held to the full accounting of the law which he himself practiced for many years before he took a bad turn. We applaud Honorable U.S. District Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinsone for incarcerating him until sentencing and pray she uses her full power to incarcertate him for the rest of his life since it is clear he has no remourse and no intention of accepting accountability for what he has done, has not accounted for where any monies remaining are, and as such needs to be incarcerated to avoid further victimization of anyone again.
  • Good Post Bradley
    The IRS auditors are use to looking for the Source and Use of Funds, and if you are correct, they will catch-up with John Tompkins. Everyone involved, even on the periphery, should make sure their tax returns are complete. Getting money under the table always leaves a trail, especially when the recipient spends it where the use of funds does not matchup with earned income.
  • IRS list
    If it's true I hope JT reported the million bucks on his tax return. Word is a bunch of people who took money from Tim but never bothered reporting it are about to be socked by the IRS.
    • No criminal history?
      Hello, Jon. Ask your client why it is that on the eve of his conviction he was wasting his time using his fake Twitter account to continue posting crap about me, the person he blames for finally getting caught stealing from thousands of victims, two of who are my aunt and uncle. You know this, dontcha Jonny boy. Um, Jonny--did you forget on your trip over to Millersburg to meet with Beverly, the editor of the Amish newspaper, to tell her poor Timmy was a victim and to please run a sympathetic article about him and that he was "only trying to raise $600K and not $250M like the big bad Greg Andrews was claiming" and I am paraphrasing, of course, since I did not get to see you in action--so he could rip off a bunch more Amish--did you forget you represented him, didn't you, on DUI arrests? And did you just state in writing-no criminal history? How many times has Tim been arrested for DUIs, Jon? Remember that "expungement" you forgot to get removed from public records? Let's talk about what he did to me in stalking and discrediting me in his quest to prevent anyone from discovering his crimes. You are quite aware, aren't you, Jonny boy, of what your client has done to every person who dared to turn him in. In case you forgot, I hear you also were a bit inebriated and told someone you were paid a million bucks. For what, prey tell, because even tho Tim is a crook even crooks, in our amazing good ol USA, deserve a competent defense--kind of like when you were supposed to expunge this CRIMINAL ARREST of your loser client, remember? No criminal history? PS, Love the timing of your Golden Hill home purchase--at the same time your client and his "friends" were spending millions of looted money on their mansions. Not implying, just commenting that the timing of your upgrade to quite the house was remarkable. DURHAM, TIMOTHY SHAWN 000000515261 07/16/1962 W M 97075636 OPER.VEH.WHILE INTOX./MA OPER.VEH.WITH BAC .08-.15%,SCH.I,II/MC RECKLESS DRIVING/MB
      • He is Kidding - Right?
        Five x Five works for me.
      • Poor Timmy
        "There is no need to incapacitate Mr. Durham beyond [five years] to prevent him from committing further crimes..." Thought he was supposed to be paying for the crimes he was convicted of. 5 years? Ha!

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