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Durham's attorney alleges feds abused wiretaps

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Financier Tim Durham asked a federal court on Wednesday to throw out all the charges against him on the grounds that the government misused wiretaps and then failed to come clean about its conduct.

In a filing in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis, Durham’s attorney, John Tompkins, wrote: “The government has engaged in a course of conduct that ... constitutes gross misconduct so severe that dismissal is warranted."

Tim Horty, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Joseph Hogsett, said prosecutors have reviewed the motion and find it “meritless.” Horty said his office will file a response within 14 days.

The filing by Tompkins reveals that prosecutors began wire-tapping Durham in early November 2009, weeks before launching a surprise raid on his Chase Tower office and on Fair Finance’s headquarters in Akron, Ohio, two days before Thanksgiving.

Tomkins contends investigators began conducting recording tests on Durham's line and monitoring his communications on Nov. 2, four days before the government had received a warrant to do so. He said the government has provided implausible and inconsistent explanations for its conduct, which he contends violated Durham’s privacy rights and those of many private citizens he communicated with.

This is one of the biggest skirmishes between Durham and prosecutors since a grand jury in March indicted him, Jim Cochran and Rick Snow on charges of conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud, wire fraud and securities fraud.

Durham and Cochran co-owned Fair Finance, while Snow was chief financial officer.

Prosecutors say that after buying Fair in 2002, Durham and Cochran raided its coffers to fund a lavish lifestyle as well as a host of money-losing businesses they controlled.

Authorities say Durham and Cochran pulled money out with such abandon that they left Fair without the means to repay Ohio investors who had purchased unsecured investment certificates from the company. More than 5,200 investors are owed more than $230 million.

Snow is accused of participating in the fraud, but unlike Durham and Cochran he isn’t accused of taking out millions of dollars in insider loans he lacked the means to repay.

Durham, Cochran and Snow deny wrongdoing.

Fair shut down following the November 2009 raid.

Durham is on house arrest while he awaits his trial, which is scheduled for June 2012.

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  • Irony
    It is unfettered irony that the Amish are paying for Durham's defense...as they have paid for everything else of his of late. Twenty years of hard time seems about right, though it wouldn't make Durham's victims whole in any sense.
  • And then there was Jon
    Hi Jon,

    Stll waiting for you to tell all of us why, right after Greg broke the initial story about how Tim was really getting his money which was not from working hard and instead from looting people like my elderly relatives, you allegedly went over to Amish Country and sat down with Beverly Keller, the editor of the Bible of Amish communication, BUDGET NEWSPAPER, and lied to her that the big bad government was lying, that Tim was only requesting $600,000 and not $250,000,000 in his new offering. Remember that? As a result she wrote a very sympathetic article about Tim on the eve of that new office he was planning to open on Millersburg, so he could steal exclusively from an even better demographic market, the Amish.

    Now then, in terms of the comment that Tim was rich before Fair, google IHSAa Joan Durham IRS and you'll clearly see ol Timmy owed hundreds of thousands to the IRS shortly before his seller-financed purchase of Fair (yep, Mr. Fair financed Tim to buy his business, which is why Tim offered an absurd amount much more than the business was worth --ironically possibly why Don Fair kept his mouth shut when he woke up to what Tim was really doing, as he was still collecting his seller note until shortly before Durham got raided.)

    Additionally if you pull local arrest records you can see Tim was arrested in 99 for a DUI and had less than $100 in his pocket, not packing thousands like he was after the start of the Fair looting.

    Guess who the attorney was during all this?

    Guess who else traded in Brightpoint and Cellstar, right before Brightpoint bought them?

    As far as wiretaps Jon knows the Feds were tapping Laikin's Phone before he went to prison for crimes re National Lampoon stock, controlled by Tim and Danny, who was also a Director of Fair. I don't think theIr conversations were limited to who they were both having sex with at the moment.

    Makes you wonder why Tomkins, who is being paid by an allegedly broke Timmy, is even representing him instead of being named accessesory to conspiracy himself for his alleged part in trying to dupe Keller into writing support for Tim.
  • XJR
    Right, XJR. He was a hard worker. A hard workin' crook. There are some lazy, low impact crooks and then there are the hard workin', hard thinkin' types, like Durham.
  • 10 x 10. 25 years
    If someone stole my father's hard-earned, life's savings and was driving around in a Bentley I would have to be restrained.
  • XJR Is Laughable
    Do you realize that Tim was robbing other companies before Fair Finance? He looted Carpenter Manufacturing in Mitchell, IN years ago. It was over $20,000,000, YES 20 MILLION, that he pulled out of that company. He is a thief, bottom line.
  • Durham
    Some of Durhams business principals might have been questionable, but all in all, he is a person who achieved wealth through working hard. Plus, he had millions and lived in diamond point before fair finance.

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