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Fair Finance trustee sues National Lampoon

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Fair Finance Co.’s bankruptcy trustee this week sued National Lampoon Inc. seeking to recover millions of dollars that indicted financier Tim Durham provided the ailing Los Angeles-based comedy business over the past decade.

Durham, who served as CEO of Akron, Ohio-based Fair before its collapse two years ago, “fraudulently transferred at least $9 million of Fair’s money to National Lampoon," where he is a major investor, according to the suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

“To disguise the origin of the transfers to National Lampoon, Durham typically funneled” the Fair funds through a variety of other companies he controlled, the suit alleges.

Durham has been on Lampoon’s board since 2002 and has been its CEO since 2008. The money went toward covering Lampoon’s losses, the suit alleges. The company lost $37 million from 2002 until it ceased filing financials with the Securities and Exchange Commission two years ago.

In his lawsuit, Fair Trustee Brian Bash acknowledges it’s unlikely National Lampoon would be able to fully repay the transfers. He asked the court to impose a permanent injunction barring the firm from selling assets without court approval and preventing the transfer of funds to insiders.

A federal grand jury in March indicted Durham and fellow Fair insiders Jim Cochran and Rick Snow on 12 felony counts.

Authorities say that after Durham bought Fair in 2002, he doled out  related-party loans with abandon, leaving the company unable to repay Ohio residents who purchased unsecured investment certificates boasting interest rates as high as 9.5 percent. More than 5,200 investors are owed more than $230 million.

Durham, Cochran and Snow have denied wrongdoing.

Bash, the Fair bankruptcy trustee, alleges Durham “utterly looted” Fair, burning through millions of dollars to support a lavish lifestyle and insolvent businesses he controlled.

Bash said this month that he has recovered about $2 million since he began filing lawsuits and taking other steps to recover money for investors in early 2010. The investors have not yet received a distribution from the recovery.




 

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  • Sue Cindy Landeen too
    Why don't they Cindy Landeen for the $750k that Durham loaned her for running the Alternate Billing Corp. in Minnesota. The FBI shut it down and I think they are still investiagating the camming scam they were running.
  • Shades of Animal House
    To quote National Lampoon's greatest movie, "Fat drunk and stupid is no way to go through life"
  • Sue Mitch Daniels too
    Why don't they sue Mitch Daniels for the $200k of Durham contribution that he refuses to return, even now that he currently claims he won't be running for another office??
  • Durham, Cochran and Snow?
    Durham, Cochran and Snow? Sounds like Dewey, Cheatem and Howe.

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  1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

  2. I appreciated the article. I guess I have become so accustomed to making my "pit stops" at places where I can ALSO get gasoline and something hot to eat, that I hardly even notice public rest stops anymore. That said, I do concur with the rationale that our rest stops (if we are to have them at all) can and should be both fiscally-responsible AND designed to make a positive impression about our state.

  3. I don't know about the rest of you but I only stop at these places for one reason, and it's not to picnic. I move trucks for dealers and have been to rest areas in most all 48 lower states. Some of ours need upgrading no doubt. Many states rest areas are much worse than ours. In the rest area on I-70 just past Richmond truckers have to hike about a quarter of a mile. When I stop I;m generally in a bit of a hurry. Convenience,not beauty, is a primary concern.

  4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

  5. I have obtained my 6 gallon badge for my donation of A Positive blood. I'm sorry to hear that my donation was nothing but a profit center for the Indiana Blood Center.

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