IBJNews

VIDEO: Fair Finance investor's family lost $475K

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Donald Russell, a retired deputy sheriff from Wayne County, Ohio, took the stand in the fraud trial of Tim Durham and two co-defendants on Tuesday. He was the first of a handful of Ohio investors who together lost more than $200 million in Fair Finance who are expected to testify as government witnesses during the trial in U.S. District Court.



Russell started investing in 1991, and by the time the FBI raided Fair in 2009, he had deposited his life savings of $350,000. Even more painful: He had encouraged his mother, Willie Pearl Russell, to invest her life savings of $125,000. Russell said he let his guard down; he didn’t read the investment offering circulars and didn’t realize Durham and Cochran had bought the company in 2002 and changed its business model.

He got nervous in January 2009, when an interest check did not land in his account as expected. He asked a bunch of questions and eventually got a call back from co-defendant Jim Cochran, who reassured him everything was OK. The FBI raided and shut down Fair that November. His 82-year-old mother landed in the hospital the next day and died a month later. He believes stress from the financial loss contributed to her death.

After testifying on Tuesday, he shared his story with IBJ (see video above).

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Sherifing Nestegg
    Deputy sherifing must be real good there in Ohio to be able to invest that much cash.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Really, taking someone managing the regulation of Alcohol and making himthe President of an IVY Tech regional campus. Does he have an education background?

  2. Jan, great rant. Now how about you review the report and offer rebuttal of the memo. This might be more conducive to civil discourse than a wild rant with no supporting facts. Perhaps some links to support your assertions would be helpful

  3. I've lived in Indianapolis my whole and been to the track 3 times. Once for a Brickyard, once last year on a practice day for Indy 500, and once when I was a high school student to pick up trash for community service. In the past 11 years, I would say while the IMS is a great venue, there are some upgrades that would show that it's changing with the times, just like the city is. First, take out the bleachers and put in individual seats. Kentucky Motor Speedway has individual seats and they look cool. Fix up the restrooms. Add wi-fi. Like others have suggested, look at bringing in concerts leading up to events. Don't just stick with the country music genre. Pop music would work well too I believe. This will attract more young celebrities to the Indy 500 like the kind that go to the Kentucky Derby. Work with Indy Go to increase the frequency of the bus route to the track during high end events. That way people have other options than worrying about where to park and paying for parking. Then after all of this, look at getting night lights. I think the aforementioned strategies are more necessary than night racing at this point in time.

  4. Talking about congestion ANYWHERE in Indianapolis is absolutely laughable. Sure you may have to wait in 5 minutes of traffic to travel down BR avenue during *peak* times. But that is absolutely nothing compared to actual big cities. Indy is way too suburban to have actual congestion problems. So please, never bring up "congestion" as an excuse to avoid development in Indianapolis. If anything, we could use a little more.

  5. Oh wait. Never mind.

ADVERTISEMENT