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Indictment: Durham looted Fair Finance

IBJ Staff
December 24, 2011
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Indianapolis financier Tim Durham was indicted on wire and securities fraud charges in March—the culmination of a federal probe that began in 2009.

Prosecutors say that after buying Akron, Ohio-based Fair Finance Co. in 2001, Durham and fellow Indianapolis businessman Jim Cochran raided its coffers to fund a lavish lifestyle as well as a host of money-losing businesses they controlled.

One example from the felony indictment: In early 2008, when Fair’s finances were dire, Durham pulled out $150,000 for a gambling spree.

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

Also indicted was Rick Snow, who was Fair’s chief financial officer. He 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 an FBI raid in November 2009. The raid occurred about a month after IBJ published a story highlighting the massive insider loans and questioning whether the company could repay investors.

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

Fair Finance’s bankruptcy trustee, Brian Bash, for nearly two years has been trying to scrounge up assets to reduce investors’ losses. As part of that effort, he has reached settlements with seven Indiana politicians or campaign committees that received donations from Durham, who had been one of the biggest supporters of GOP candidates in the state.

In the largest deal to date, former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi and his campaign committee in November agreed to return nearly $200,000.

The trustee contends the political donations were fraudulent transfers because they were made when Durham and his companies were insolvent.•

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  1. Again, Maria.... how much are YOU contributing? The man doesn't HAVE to give a red cent! What don't you get about that? And, I know this might actually require some actual "facts", but can you please point me to the parking garage that the city gave to him?

  2. Another internet tuff guy I see. And what would the basis of taking the person to jail? If they were drunk, yea. But if not, there would be no jailable offense. All these gestapo, Nazi, jackboots are running SCARED. When the SHTF in this country who's side are you going to be on? The citzens, or the establishment? Better make up your mind quick because it's not far off. I would rather be trying to make friends than enemies. But no worries my "friend", God will take care of you and your likes in good time. It tells us that in the bible. If you stand, support and help carry out the plans of evil rulers, you will NOT be spared the wrath of God. That simple. All you can do is repent now and ask God to forgive you.

  3. Yes, Ersal, thank you for donating a whole $75,000, while the city gives you a parking garage for free and is going to pay for a multi million dollar stadium for you. I'd be donating money too if I was on welfare.

  4. I live and work in Broad Ripple and agree 100% that the traffic is not a significant problem. It can be slow at some times, but hey...this is an urban area. As for the development itself...HOORAY. Office and retail development brings people during the day, something that our community needs much more of. Thank goodness people are finally waking up to take advantage of the serene White River views. The BRVA land us committee endorsed the project because they know how these kind of projects help offset the cries of "too many bars". Pray that this development, and the proposed major investment by Browning, move forward. And remember Good Earth, these will mean hundreds of daytime people - potential shoppers for your store.

  5. Under current, previous existing law, this new law would be unconstitutional. Not that supposedly having to have a driver's license to drive isn't in the first place.

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