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Filing shows Durham's personal finances in shambles

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Indicted financier Tim Durham continues to have ownership stakes in more than a half-dozen businesses, and he has friends and associates who owe him millions of dollars. The problem is few of his business holdings are worth much. And even if everyone who owed Durham money paid him—which seems unlikely—his assets still would be a fraction of his debts.

That’s the picture that emerges from the 20-page financial statement Durham’s attorney filed in federal court late Friday. The filing doesn’t attempt to place a value on his assets but estimates he owes creditors $77 million.

Durham owes the largest amount, $29 million, to Obsidian Enterprises Inc., his now-defunct Indianapolis-based leveraged buyout firm. The money reflects his personal guarantee on loans Obsidian took out from Akron, Ohio-based Fair Finance Co.—the business prosecutors allege he ran as a Ponzi scheme.

The filing lists his largest single asset as his 100-percent ownership interest in Custom Cryogenic Grinding, an Indianapolis-based recycler of rubber and plastic, whose fair market value is listed as $2.9 million.

Other assets used to be worth more but have plunged in value. For example, Durham owns 11.8 million shares of Los Angeles-based National Lampoon Inc., where he serves as CEO. However, as of April, those shares were worth just 2 cents apiece, or $236,000, according to the filing.

Attorneys overseeing Fair Finance Co.'s bankruptcy liquidation had believed for months that Durham lacked the personal wealth to put a dent in the money owed to 5,200 Ohio residents who purchased more than $200 million in unsecured notes from Fair. The notes slid into default after the company shut down in November 2009 following an FBI raid.

The filing, however, makes public for the first time the utterly bleak state of Durham’s finances. As recently as 2008, he boasted to the business news channel CNBC that he had a net worth of $75 million—a figure investigators say belied reality.

Durham already has turned over to Fair's bankruptcy trustee many of his easiest-to-liquidate assets, including his collection of artwork and exotic cars.

A 23-page grand jury indictment returned this spring alleges Durham and business partner James F. Cochran worked with former Fair Finance Chief Financial Officer Rick D. Snow to devise and execute a scheme to defraud Fair’s investors. Authorities say that after Durham bought Fair in 2002, he doled out related-party loans with abandon, stripping the company of its ability to repay investors. He made many of the loans to himself, to his businesses and to associates who later defaulted.

Durham, Cochran and Snow have denied wrongdoing.

More of IBJ's coverage of Durham and Fair Finance can be found here.


 

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  • r u kidding
    Must be nice to tell the court you are broke, drive around in a BMW, have your groceries delivered and stay in diamond point and now downtown in a condo. sounds like being broke. i would like to be broke as well. wow are you kidding.
  • What parents?
    his dad, Chuck, was smart and took off! He left his dental practice and family. He has been MIA since this went down. I would say he's the smartest one of the bunch
  • Where is money coming from?
    Has anybody else wonder how is Tim surviving? It takes money to hang out in a condo in downtown Indy, it takes money to purchase new computer equipment and I am sure that if the prosecutors look into it, they will find money hidden outside of the country.
  • It happens to the good ones too
    Fastest-Growing Indianapolis-Area Public Companies
    Publication: Indianapolis Business Journal
    Publication Date: 16-SEP-02

    Obsidian debuts in top spot on fastest-growing list

    The recession's impact was readily apparent when IBJ researchers compiled this year's list of fastest-growing Indianapolis-area public companies. Only 21 companies met criteria to qualify for the list, which usually features 25 companies.
  • "Loans?"
    Would the reporters respectfully please stop calling Durham's looting "loans." He did not borrow, he stole, and when he got caught flew back from LA, holed up at Chase Tower and wrote all those loan documents which is why the dates don't match. We hope the BK trustee gets him for bankruptcy fraud TOO and that all convictions run consecutively and not conservatively. We hope Washington comes in to assist in the trial of these criminals so they can never again in their lives do this to anyone. We will have no Christmas this year or next year because all our discretionary money was stolen by Tim so he could pretend to be something he never was.

    What he is is a thief. Lock him up here in the Akron county jail with no bail and let's see what comes out of his mouth then.
  • Questiom
    Does anyone know if Scott McKain has been questioned about the chapter on Obsidian he put in his book "all business is show business" where he allegedly claims Durham was making money hand over fist and their investors were sophisticated and accredited? Same question with the reason his house went into foreclosure a week after the FBI raided Durham, does anyone know anything about that. Thanks.
  • PARENT'S MUST BE PROUD
    This guy is too much.He surely made his parent's proud of him I am sure????I can't wait to see these guy's in akron.Rumor has it what come's to akron may not leave akron.We need some more horse's ass's in the amish field's to plow the field's.

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