Durham car collection fetches $2.2M

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The bulk of embattled Indianapolis businessman Tim Durham’s exotic car collection sold at auction on Friday afternoon, with his 1929 Duesenberg fetching the largest price—$1.237 million.

The Duesenberg Model J Dual Cowl Phaeton was driven Elvis Presley in the 1966 movie “Spinout." It was one of nearly two dozen vehicles sold as part of an auction conducted by RM Auctions of Ontario, Canada, at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix.

Tim Durham classic carDurham in 2006 with one of his cars. (Photo courtesy RM Auctions)

The bankruptcy trustee for Fair Finance Co. put the cars up for auction to raise money for creditors of the defunct company, including more than 5,000 Ohio residents who hold more than $200 million in unsecured investment certificates.

The Durham vehicles collectively fetched about $2.2 million, likely leaving about $1 million for the trustee after expenses and a bank lien is paid off, said Kelly Burgan, an attorney for trustee Brian Bash. The funds will help cover the cost of attorneys and other professionals who've been filing lawsuits and taking other steps in an attempt to recover assets for creditors. Professionals have not applied for fees or expenses since the case began early last year.

Akron, Ohio-based Fair collapsed in late 2009. The trustee charges in court papers that its owners, Durham and fellow Indianapolis businessman Jim Cochran, “utterly looted” the business, pulling out tens of millions of dollars in insider loans that were not repaid.

Other Durham cars in the auction included a1929 Auburn 8-90 Speedster, a 2002 Lamborghini Murcielago, a 2006 Bentley Continental Flying Spur and a 2003 Astin Martin Vanquish.

Durham, who is the target of civil and criminal investigations, has denied breaking any laws but has acknowledged he owes Fair millions of dollars. He voluntarily turned over the cars to bankruptcy trustee Brian Bash last summer.

Attorneys for Durham say offering circulars that Fair provided to prospective purchasers disclosed the insider loans and other risks.

However, investigators are trying to build a case that Durham duped investors. In a court filing in late 2009, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Indianapolis alleged Durham was operating a Ponzi scheme, using money from the sale of new investment certificates to pay off prior purchasers.



  • Fair Finance
    Who is Bose?
  • Casting a net
    As an American I am entitled to my opinon. How does someone get so rich by investing in publicly traded companies like Obsidian, Cellstar, National Lampoon, Brightpoint? They all basically went to zero, except Brightpoint. Servaas even got taken in a way. They dressed up Carpenter Bus and sold it. It just seems like a game of moving the money. If you actually look at the financials people, companies where moving/loaning money in and out. Was it Servaas's connections at the CIA that helped unfreeze the assets? For the coments that the trustee is to blame is just dumb!! You would not need a trustee to recover any part of the 200m that investors lost if FF was on the up and up or smart business people. Even by putting the squeeze on TD's friends and family doesn't see to bother him. This is America. He might legally get away with it but the civil suits might be the ones that actually hurt him.
  • hopeurright
    Good for you. I hope you are right that this is the best way to recoup your money. I just don't think so. But keep supporting the trustee and the ibj and see what it gets you. Probably the same thing Fair Finance got you. Profits for them. I think there are better ways. But again, I hope I am wrong.
  • From someone who lost money
    My wife and I are victims. We appreciate the IBJ's following this case because we know there is money to be returned to us. We are not angry with the lawyers appointed by the bankruptcy court because they did not cause this mess. Timothy Durham, James Cochran and their trusted servants who knew they were wiring millions upon millions out of the accounts of what was supposed to be invested in factoring accounts ARE who caused the problem. What human needs to have 30 something cars, a yacht, at least two airplanes, mansions galore, to spend $3 million dollars on decorating not only his house but his secretary's house? Who does this kind of nonsense? With someone else's money?

    The lawyers did not do this. A million bucks in legal fees is well-earned by them. At the end of the day even $2 million in legal fees is not material to the $220,000,000 Durham and Cochran looted from us.

    If I had any clue that none of their cmpanies were profitable and they didn't have enough revenue to support even a semblence of the debt I would never have put a dime into these certificates. Please show me in the offering circulars where either of them admit they were doing what they really did with our money. What Amish or Mennonite person do you know would allow hundreds of thousands of dollars of his or her money to be GIVEN to Mitch Daniels and that local prosecutor fellow Carlito Brizzi? None I know.

    Since we will never see our money again it is important to ensure this type of crime is not committed again by these hooligans. I applaud the Indianapolis Business Journal for continuing to report so that others don't fall prey to these criminals like we did.
    • not a lawyer
      I don't claim to know so much like you do. I am not even arguing with you. You are probably right. All I am saying is that it is sad that there are so many victims and so many jealous people are taking joy in it. It is obvious. You obviously have something against Tim. Jim Cochran must not have screwed nearly as many people. Now that you mention it a fund for the victims would have been a lot more helpful than what this greedy trustee is doing. She claims to want to get money for the victims but doesn't mind taking the million dollars for the cars in legal fees. It's just too bad there isn't a better system for having the money that can be recovered go to the victims and not the lawyers. I bet even the politicians might return some of the money if it was actually going to the victims.I am just not a hater and can't stand to watch all the jealous people taking pleasure in other people's misery. Hate only hurts yourself. Tim is not suffering from your hate. You are the one that seems to claim so much. So when is he going to jail? When is the trustee going to actually give any money back to the victims. Sad sad situation. Even sadder that the trustee is duping them into thinking they are helping when they are just robbing them again. I hope some day they do get at least some of their money back.
      • Carpenter Manufacturing
        Hey folks, don't forget about the $20+ Millon that Tim pulled out of Carpenter Manufacturing some years back. He bankrupt that company after he and his X Father-In-Law, Beurt Servaas, raped the company. They were a bus manufacturer in Mitchell, IN. A lot of people lost their jobs in and around that small town. Anyone care?
        • Where is the yacht?
          What ever happened to the yacht "Obsidian"? Did the crew ever get paid? If you want any info in Obsidian the company, just go to the SEc website. But you will need a furensic accountant to understand the movement of money.
        • clarification
          Yes, you are right. What I meant to say didn't come out right. But I have just as much right to post as you haters do. So for the record, here is my take. And this is all just our opinions right? Or do you know for a fact that Tim Durham is going to prison for a very long time? Please tell.

          Two guys got together and bought this finance company. We don't know if their intentions were good or bad, but they proceeded to invest in a lot of companies. Some of these companies belonged to friends and family. At some point their egos got very big and they thought they could do anything they wanted. They started taking huge sums out for themselves and led lewd and lavish lifestyles that a lot of people were envious of. Obviously by the posts here, Tim Durham pissed off a lot of people because Jim Cochran is barely mentioned. In fact, Indianapolis has turned into a lynch mob. He was a big fish in a small pond. The rest of the country (besides rural Ohio) could care less. Now here is my point. In a perfect world, the Ohio regulators would have figured this out long before this much money was invested. If not, they at the very least would not have gone for another round being approved. At that point it should have been quietly investigated instead of causing an immediate panic. Appropriate actions should have been taken and a slightly more helpful resolution occurred (not that much of anything could help, but it would be better). Instead, everything turned into publicity. From the moment of the raid, the FBI and the trustee have been all about the publicity. They know they are not helping the investors. The public is now "happy" that all these poor people lost their money so they can watch someone they hate and are jealous of fall. That is what the IBJ is. It stands for I Be Jealous. I just don't think what they are writing is really news. I think these people are not the ones anyone cares about. They care about watching people fall. I am more concerned about the victims. To add insult to injury, they are being given false hope that someone cares. The IBJ, the FBI, and the trustee are fueling the frenzy and they are screwing these people just as badly. Do you really think the trustee is collecting any money that is not going to legal fees? It is just like a class action suit. When is the last time the investors got money from a class action suit? I am not defending anyone here. I am just saying it is more of a statement about our society. These greedy lawyers and two bit journalists are trying to make these people think they are out to help them. In reality, they are just as greedy as the others. The worst part is that a lot of people seem to be happy about the situation. i would hope and pray that someone who truly cares about the investors could help them, but that is not the way our system works. Of course Greg Andrews didn't cause this, but he certainly hasn't helped. Over a year later, after all the publicity, no charges have been filed. This could have been handled MUCH better.
          • 1650 Marlay
            Tim's rented mansion since he couldn't be bothered with living in the $3.8M smaller house he purchased with stolen funds, is now officially up for rent as of a week ago. Looks like Tim will have to find another place to live. How about if he moves to Wooster, Ohio, so he has to face his victims.

            In the interim the trustee has not secured the millions of dollars in jewelry Tim bought with stolen money, the original Demi Moore Vanity Fair pregnancy photo Tim claims to have purchased and is listed on the insurance inventory, the dozens of cars that did not show up on the FBI seizure. the cash used to fund the current lease of $28k a monthâ?¦..so while we all post on here the fact is Tim continues living his lavish lifestyle, out of jail, with no arrest, while the lives of countless victims are ruined by his sheer greed and avarice.

            Thank you, Tim Morrison, for making Tim's current lifestyle possible.
          • lawyer scam
            Did anyone read the Akron Beacon Journal article?

            "Still, creditors, largely made up of an estimated 5,300 holders of Fair Finance investment certificates, should not expect to receive a distribution from the sale of the cars, said Kelly Burgan, legal counsel to trustee Brian Bash. The money likely will be used to fund the case, including reimbursing the professionals who have been working on the bankruptcy since Fair Finance was forced into filing Chapter 7 in February 2010."

            Doesn't anyone see that the lawyers are scamming these poor people just as much as anyone else? They should be ashamed. All they do is put out publicity like "within a monthe everyone will know" to justify their existence. In truth, their existence is not justified or helping. They are the only ones that will get any money. If they are so concerned about the creditors, why don't they do it pro bono. Disgusting. Greg Andrews doesn't report this because he wants everyone to still believe that his investigating helped these people. In truth, he is probably the main reason they lost everything.
          • Question for Board
            Does anyone know whether or not Bose ever paid back the money they "borrowed" from Tim?
            • Fair Finance
              Why don't we ever hear about Jim Cochran? Isn't he just as involved as Durham? He must have some assets (even though he had an estate sale months ago in Florida).

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