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Indianapolis accounting firm settles with Fair Finance trustee

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Somerset CPAs PC will pay $500,000 to settle litigation brought by the bankruptcy trustee of Fair Finance Co., the Ohio-based firm convicted financier Tim Durham used to conduct a major Ponzi scheme.

Trustee Brian Bash alleged that Indianapolis-based Somerset received $760,454.90 in fraudulent transfers while working for Durham’s related companies. In a bankruptcy-court motion filed Wednesday, Bash said he was willing to accept the $500,000 to avoid expensive litigation over the complex case.

Somerset President Pat Early was traveling and unavailable for comment Thursday morning.

Bash’s claim involved dozens of transfers through 11 entities, including Fair Holdings, DC Investments and Obsidian Enterprises. In reality, Bash alleged, all of the payments to Somerset came from Fair Finance through a series of loan transactions. He alleged that Fair Finance had received no value for the fees because the related entities were insolvent.

Somerset disputed its liability and some of the factual allegations of the trustee’s claims, Bash noted. The firm admits no responsibility under the settlement.

The firm has already placed the $500,000 in a trust account for release upon the judge’s approval, it said.

Somerset is the seventh-largest accounting firm in the Indianapolis area with 56 CPAs, according to IBJ research.

Durham, the financial fraudster convicted in June, switched accounting firms in 2005 after he couldn’t get a clean audit. His former accounting firm, BGBC, told him it couldn’t issue an unqualified audit report for 2003 or 2004 because Fair’s “conduct indicated it was not being run for its own benefit.”

Somerset later accepted Fair as a client and issued a clean opinion for 2004. Early told IBJ that Durham provided “additional collateral he had not brought to the table when he was dealing with them.”

Somerset didn’t provide a clean opinion for 2005, and Durham dismissed the firm as his auditor.

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  1. Now if he'd just stay there...

  2. Daniel - what about the many US citizens who do NOT follow what the Bible teaches? The Hindus, Jews, Muslims and others who are all American citizens entitled to all rights as Americans?? This issue has NOTHING to do with "What the Bible says..." Keep all Churches separate from State! Pence's ongoing idiocy continues to make Indiana look like a backwards, homophobic state in the eyes of our nation. Can't we move on to bigger issues - like educating our kids?

  3. 1. IBJ should link to the referenced report. We are in the age of electronic media...not sharing information is lazy. Here is a link http://www.in.gov/gov/files/Blue_Ribbon_Panel_Report_July_9_2014.pdf 2. The article should provide more clarity about the make-up of this panel. The commenters are making this item out to be partisan, it does not appear the panel is partisan. Here is a list of the panel which appears to be balanced with different SME to add different perspectives http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?view=EventDetails&eventidn=138116?formation_id=189603 3. It suggests a by-pass, I do not see where this report suggests another "loop". 4. Henry, based on your kneejerk reaction, we would be better off if you moved to another state unless your post was meant as sarcasm in which case I say Well Done. 5. The article and report actually indicates need to improve rail and port infrastructure in direct contradiction to Shayla commentary. Specifically, recommendation is to consider passenger rail projects... 6. People have a voice with their elected officials. These are suggestions and do not represent "crony capitalism", etc. The report needs to be analyzed and the legislature can decide on priorities and spending. Don't like it, then vote in a new legislature but quit artificially creating issues where there are none! People need to sift through the politics and provide constructive criticism to the process rather than making uninformed comments in a public forum based on misinformation. IBJ should work harder to correct the record in these forums when blatant errors or misrepresentations are made.

  4. Joe ... Marriage is defined in the Bible ... it is mentioned in the Bible often. Marriage is not mentioned once in the US or Indiana Constitution ...

  5. Daniel - Educate me please: what does the Bible have to do with laws? If the government wasn't in the business of marriage to begin with, then it wouldn't have to "define" marriage at all. Marriage could be left as a personal, religious, or otherwise unregulated action, with no ties to taxes, legal status, etc. Then people could marry whomever they want, and all this silliness would go away. Remember to vote Libertarian in November.

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