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Judge places Fair Finance into bankruptcy

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A bankruptcy court judge today placed local businessman Tim Durham’s Fair Finance Co. into involuntary bankruptcy—a move that will give a federal trustee control over its remaining assets.

The move provides peace of mind to Ohio residents who invested in the business and feared their money might disappear while federal securities-fraud investigations continue.

“My message is help is on the way,” said David Mucklow, an Ohio bankruptcy attorney who filed the petition for involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy Feb. 8 on behalf of some of the company’s investors.

Attorneys for Akron, Ohio-based Fair Finance had opposed the effort to force the company into bankruptcy. However, in a separate investor lawsuit in an Ohio state court, they had consented to appointment of a receiver. In that suit, they denied fraud occurred but said receivership made sense to provide “some order and structure” amid “wild speculation and reckless accusations.”

Friday’s ruling by bankruptcy court Judge Marilyn Shea-Stonum of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Ohio automatically puts the receivership litigation on hold, Mucklow said.

Muckow believes bankruptcy was the better option for investors all along because the federal trustee will have “much greater power” than a receiver would to pursue assets held by Durham-affiliated companies across the country.

Attorneys representing Fair Finance were not immediately available for comment Friday afternoon.

Fair’s offices have been closed since Nov. 24, when FBI agents raided its headquarters in Akron and Durham’s office on the top floor of the Chase Tower in downtown Indianapolis.

The raid came a month after IBJ reported that Durham and fellow Indianapolis businessman Jim Cochran had used Fair almost like a personal bank since buying it in 2002.

The story said the pair, their associates and companies they owned rung up more than $168 million in insider loans—debt that might imperil Fair’s ability to repay the Ohio investors who purchased more than $200 million of the company's investment certificates.

Court papers say the trustee overseeing Fair will be Brian Bash, a partner with the law firm Baker Hostetler in Cleveland.



 

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  • Re: Bankruptcy
    Thanks for the information..I really enjoyed your blog..See credit counseling for bankruptcy what are your views?
  • re
    Of course you are part of the gang. If you had lost several hundred thousand dollars as my family did you would be as aggressive as we are. We know he blew the money, and since we can't get our money back we want to make sure that EVERY person in the gang that took money fraudulently is prosecuted so there is a public record and appropriate penalty(s.)
  • LOL mooch memeber of the game
    Dont care if my IP address is attached... I am not apart of "the gang" ... do not have a bone in this dog fight, just amazed at how much time all of you put into one guy. I am just saying that I think the FBI is pretty capable of taking the guy down if he did something wrong. Is following his every move all you have in life... if so, pretty sad.
    • re: BIG DIFFERENCE
      When you invest in, say GE or MSFT or even locally in Indiana LLY, you can read their balance sheet and income statesments and gauge your level of risk.

      Tim Durham and James Cochran supplied misleading financial statements that included outright lies such as the terms they made for loans were comparable to banks. None of that was true. So, these investors relied on false information and sales pitches from salespeople who were also misled by management.

      In one recent instance before Fair stopped operating, Jim Cochran himself called the investor who questioned the operation and acted all indignant. Jim Cochran himself hurriedly had an estate sale, liquidating for cash the entire contents of a Mansion at 298 Mooring Line in Naples, Florida and was seen lounging against his Bentley convertible, laughing and smirking, on a videotape taken by a local reporter. A woman who appeared to possibly be his current wife Susan was seen waving a diamond rock akin to a boulder on her left ring finger, trying to shoo away the reporter. And, yes, Jim Cochran funded his lifestyle with "loans" funded by the life savings of people like Nelson Yoder, who just died of a heart attack brought on by what I believe is the stress of the looting of life savings in people in his church and community.

      So, it's not just Tim Durham. His co-conspirator James F Cochran, the same guy arrested for domestic battery AND resisting law enforcement, also doesn't appear to believe he should have to abide by the rules of not only a civilized society but by the rules of God: "thou shalt not steal."

      https://mycase.in.gov/CaseDetail.aspx?CaseID=3129724
    • Tim and Jim Times Up
      I keep hearing many people blame the investors and saying they did not have to put their money in FF. That is true but most of these people knew that this company had been around since 1934 and had a great history and reputation.What most DID NOT know was that the company had been sold in 2002.Even if it did come up about new owners they were told the company was still operating the same way as when the Fair family owned it, which was NOT True!
      The Fair family never used the company as their own personal bank. Yeah ultimately it was their choice and they lost, just like the stock market that is not guaranteed or insured either.
    • Fair Finance agrees to bankruptcy
      Fair Finance agrees to bankruptcy

      By Jim Mackinnon
      Beacon Journal staff writer

      POSTED: 09:22 p.m. EST, Feb 24, 2010

      Fair Finance Co. says it won't fight going into Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

      The under-investigation company filed what is called a ''consent of entry order'' Wednesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Akron.

      The one-line filing reads: ''Fair Finance Company, the putative debtor herein, by counsel, hereby consents to the entry of order for relief in the above-captioned chapter 7 bankruptcy case.''

      David Mucklow, the Green lawyer who proposed putting Fair Finance into involuntary bankruptcy as a means to protect the company's remaining assets on behalf of investors, said he equates Wednesday's filing with unconditional surrender.

      ''They have thrown in the towel. . . . They essentially are admitting they cannot pay their bills as they come due or they are insolvent,'' he said. ''Now we can start working on recovering assets.''

      An interim trustee was appointed last week to oversee Fair Finance after hearings in bankruptcy court. Under a Chapter 7 case, assets are liquidated and proceeds distributed to creditors.

      Neither the trustee â?? Cleveland attorney Brian Bash â?? nor Fair Finance's lawyer in Indiana could be reached for comment Wednesday.

      Federal investigators have said in court documents they feared Fair Finance was being operated as a Ponzi scheme through its selling of hundreds of millions of dollars in investment certificates to Ohio residents. The FBI raided the company's Akron headquarters and a related business in Indiana on Nov. 24. The accounts receivables and consumer loan company was founded in 1934 in Akron by the Fair family and sold in 2002 to two Indiana businessmen, Timothy Durham and James Cochran.

      Certificate holders, many of them elderly, have said they haven't had access to their money since the FBI raids. The certificates were not government-insured.

      Mucklow and his co-counsel in the case, Michael Moran, last month persuaded about 100 certificate holders that the best way to protect their assets was to force Fair Finance into bankruptcy. The certificate holders are considered unsecured creditors.

      Mucklow on Wednesday said the trustee is charged with coming up with a list of creditors. He said he heard there might be as many as 13,000 certificate holders.

      Recovering any of the assets will take a long time, Mucklow said.

      Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or jmackinnon@thebeaconjournal.com.

      Fair Finance Co. says it won't fight going into Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

      The under-investigation company filed what is called a ''consent of entry order'' Wednesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Akron.

      The one-line filing reads: ''Fair Finance Company, the putative debtor herein, by counsel, hereby consents to the entry of order for relief in the above-captioned chapter 7 bankruptcy case.''

      David Mucklow, the Green lawyer who proposed putting Fair Finance into involuntary bankruptcy as a means to protect the company's remaining assets on behalf of investors, said he equates Wednesday's filing with unconditional surrender.

      ''They have thrown in the towel. . . . They essentially are admitting they cannot pay their bills as they come due or they are insolvent,'' he said. ''Now we can start working on recovering assets.''

      An interim trustee was appointed last week to oversee Fair Finance after hearings in bankruptcy court. Under a Chapter 7 case, assets are liquidated and proceeds distributed to creditors.

      Neither the trustee â?? Cleveland attorney Brian Bash â?? nor Fair Finance's lawyer in Indiana could be reached for comment Wednesday.

      Federal investigators have said in court documents they feared Fair Finance was being operated as a Ponzi scheme through its selling of hundreds of millions of dollars in investment certificates to Ohio residents. The FBI raided the company's Akron headquarters and a related business in Indiana on Nov. 24. The accounts receivables and consumer loan company was founded in 1934 in Akron by the Fair family and sold in 2002 to two Indiana businessmen, Timothy Durham and James Cochran.

      Certificate holders, many of them elderly, have said they haven't had access to their money since the FBI raids. The certificates were not government-insured.

      Mucklow and his co-counsel in the case, Michael Moran, last month persuaded about 100 certificate holders that the best way to protect their assets was to force Fair Finance into bankruptcy. The certificate holders are considered unsecured creditors.

      Mucklow on Wednesday said the trustee is charged with coming up with a list of creditors. He said he heard there might be as many as 13,000 certificate holders.
    • re
      Do you not realize your IP address is captured each time you post? Kind of stupid, aren't you, like Durham and Cochran to think they could get away with helping themselves to millions of dollars to blow on Bentleys etc, and never be accountable?

      Kind of like Arthur Nadel, who is now in jail....I would not want to be Durham, Cochran or Jeff Osler, but hey! Like you said, maybe they are innocent and just victims of a conspiracy between regulators in Ohio, Indiana, Texas and who knows where else!

      Can someone please give me a bank like Fair Finance, where I can help myself to tens of millions of dollars and not pay the money back "until economic times improve?"

      The rest of his life in prison will be Arthur Nadel's sentence. Keep in mind if Durham and Cochran are charged with STATE crimes by Ohio they will not be going to a federal prison but a state one. Tim should be able to more fully express his femininity if that turns out to be the case.
      http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20100224-715333.html?mod=WSJ_latestheadlines
      • Blah Blah Blah
        You all are just so on it! You think you know so much ~ just because you pull some "public" information from various places is not all that impressive. AND if this was a NO brainer as some of you say... seems to me that the FBI would have him behind bars, hmmmmm not so much the case now is it. Im not even his friend or somebody that usually reads these blogs, I was just a little bored this morning before work... which you are all obviously bored A LOT to be the caught up in another persons life... who you obviously admire. From what I do know about the case ~ those investors were not FORCED to invest in FF. Seems he must have covered his tracks well enough if Ohio Securities has yet to find fault after almost 4 months. Your comments though are awfully entertaining.. think I might come back just to check in. hehehehehehehe
      • re
        Esta, SO true.

        Did you hear bad news is coming for the mooches of Tim's group--the trustee can go back four years and reclaim all those assets. I can't wait til the news of who gets smacked on $$$ hits the motivational speakers circuit.
      • Where?
        Where are all of Tim's defenders? Busy loading and unloading his moving vans? Licking his boots hoping to get some of the last few crumbs to fall off his plate? Maybe some of them will be getting the crumbs off the compartmentalized plastic tray he'll be eating off in the future.
        • Amen, Amber
          Don't worry, God is watching and HE knows what is going on.

          Be patient with the feds, the FBI agent in charge is assembling an air-tight case. He needs our support at this critical time so Tim Durham is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

          The best way to help is to send tips to the Indiana FBI office ATTN TIM DURHAM INVESTIGATION and please copy the Ohio Department of Securities to ensure a checks and balance.

          Don't worry--it's almost over.

          God speed to the HONEST people trying to make a difference and God fear to those scumbags who prey on elderly people.
        • VICTIM
          If Tim was in jail where he belongs he would not be able to hide and sell his assets! What is wrong with the FBI and Attorney General?! They have not done their job. By the time they arrest this thief it will be too late. He'll get his if not here on earth, in the after life in HELL. THOU SHALL NOT STEAL! But in the meantime, we'd like our money back. Does anybody care? They would if it was their money. They have more than enough evidence to arrest this thief. FELONIES galore! He's nothing but a criminal, get him off the street.
        • Interesting update
          Someone just deleted out the loopnet link in the prior post. Fortunately we made a pdf file of the listing, not to mention the listing has a unique listing #.

          Here's the property from the Remax ad:

          http://www.remax-indiana.com/remaxin/default.asp?p=findahome.asp&listing=true&mlsnumber=21004600&mlsid=475&s=frontdoor
        • Tim's sister selling the gym

          And who knows if there is a bank lien on this property? I bet there is. If someone could pull that it would be great.

          http://www.loopnet.com/property/16546525/11960-E-62nd-St/

          http://fairfinanceinvestors.com/DC_Investments_Loan_Receivables_Investments_-_S.pdf
        • the plot thickens
          And so it keeps on....it seems Mr. Tim is unloading all of his "aquisitions"...The bistro in New Castle, Geist Sports Academy (owned by sister and his VP of Obsidian)his home...taking all of the possessions and going to LA where he has been hiding out since the FBI raided and shut down his livelyhood!! Perhaps no one bothers him out there. Has he paid any mortgage payments on any of his houses of late?? I am sure he has hidden enough money away to live on for a very long time...there are so many connections ...Just give the FBI time...they are doing their job! I am sure they know he and those around him are used to lying to everyone around them.
          • Moving vans
            Channel 8 in Indianapolis is reporting that people are loading items from Durham's house on the NorthEast side of Indianapolis. Time to leave town, Mr. Durham?
            • This is an interesting side note
              http://diana-vice.blogspot.com/2010/02/exclusive-msdwt-securatex-contract.html
            • re
              Now that the interim trustee is on the case, rapidly scurrying through documents, there's really nothing the Indy incest group can do to stop or interfere anymore.

              I'll say one thing: If Durham hasn't been arrested by the time Brian Bash is done with his report Tim Morrison is going to be looking really, really incompetent.
            • Roundup
              When are brizzi, cottey, and plowman going to be arrested by the Feds? Man they are taking their time. Can they at least give us a teaser?
              • 99 years prison for preying on elderly for $15M scam...wonder what $60m+ means
                http://dallas.bizjournals.com/dallas/stories/2010/02/15/daily49.html
              • re
                Not member of any group, a son whose mother got screwed and lost her life savings. None of us can believe the greed and avarice of these men, James F Cochran and Timothy S Durham. Did you see the video of Cochran laughing as he rested against the Bentley convertible at the Craigslist sale of the contents of 298 Mooring Line, Naples, Florida, a mansion that is also now up for sale. Will not stop documenting until the group is held accountable for every last cent taken from people like my mother. Help IS on its way thanks to David A Mucklow, Bankruptcy Lawyer who in just a short two weeks managed to get this case moved into the proper venue.

                Too bad Mucklow wasn't on board in time to garnish the proceeds from the Naples asset sale.
              • re
                Well, not sure how Tim could burn a stockbroker, especially since his two big hits were Brightpoint and Cellstar and the broker would have gotten rich on the trades wouldn't he? And the broker would sure have to have the skinny on who all the players in Tim's camp are. My guess is these posts are being perpetrated by someone on Durham's inner circle. The magical question is who. And the better question is why would you care. It must get under your skin that you feel the need to daily race to Ibj! IndyStar! Beacon Journal! Gawker! Perez Hilton! Wonder if perhaps you'll be exposed on the cover of the Enquirer! Where else! OMG, if there is any humor here it is you guys are all caught. HA HAHAHAHAHAHAAH!!!!

                Who deleted the link about Misty's pool that Timmy bought and had installed? That wasn't nice!

                Thanks for clarifying that Misty didn't get a new master b/r suite and guest house addition like Danny Laikin got at 8159 Hollywood Blvd. All she got was the house, the pool and allegedly tens of thousands in freebies and allegedly free use of Durham's credit cards: Here are those links again!

                http://www.bcpa.net/RecInfo.asp?URL_Folio=474131032230

                http://205.166.161.12/oncoreV2/showdetails.aspx?id=38796558&rn=1Ï?=0&ref=search


              • That package for Mr. Bash
                Whoever the individual is who posted they are sending material to Brian Bash I have some questions.
                Tom Durham must have pissed you off personally some where along the line,would you care to explain how?
                Are you spurned former employee?
                Are you a stock broker who got burned?
                Did you get tossed out of the Durham circle?
                Just curious since you seem to be very very close to Mr. Durham.
                • re
                  I believe that's the point, it appears he gifted her the house for $100 but kept himself on the title as her "partner." If you pull the public records you'll see he also paid for and installed a house. Isn't he swell? Here's the pool link:

                  http://205.166.161.12/oncoreV2/showdetails.aspx?id=38796558&rn=1&pi=0&ref=search

                  And since Tim Durham has absolutely no business acumen he bought the house at the VERY top of the Florida real estate market. According to Trulia houses on that street are selling for about half that price today.

                  Now you know why he desperately fought the bankruptcy trustee. Of course he wanted Fair Holdings and Fair Finance put into civil receivorship, because 1) he moved most of the money he gave his friends to DC Investments first, and in a civil receivorship against Fair Fin and Fair Holdings only, retroactive transactions like this from 2006, 2007 are not recoverable.

                  Unfortunately for Tim and his gang of mooch "friends" who received non-UCC filed millions for houses such as Dan Laikin and his massive $10M mansion at 8159 Hollywood Blvd in Los Angeles, and like Misty of course lots of money for a very expensive master bedroom and second guest house addition (because one guest house is not enough and because having the $10M mansion in Malibu at 29149 Cliffside in Malibu meant he had to fight LA traffic to get to work at his job trying to pump the stock price of perpetual money loser National Lampoon).....and those politicians like Brizzi and yes, Governor Daniels, who accepted hundreds of thousands in donations there's a new Sheriff in town.

                  That Sheriff is named Sheriff Bankruptcy along with his sidekick Deputy Fraudulent Transfers, which allow them to ride in on their horses and go back up to ten years for fraudulent conveyances.

                  PS, To the "gang" who rush to this board daily to see what is posted, the
                  bankruptcy trustee Brian Bash will be receiving a large package delivered to him personally Monday morning, complete with document #s from the various recorders, as well as specific information with dates, times and instances (such as the helicopter trip to Del Ray, the $40,000 a month lease of yet another house to impress yet another model who wouldn't have otherwise given him the time of the day) of how Tim, Jim et al have foolishly blown the life savings of trusting, unsuspecting church going residents of Apple Creek, Ohio.
                  • Sale for $100
                    Why was the sale price $620,000 in '05 and $100 in '06?
                    • Will Misty have to give the house back?
                      Poor Tim, he always loses out to the real man. Must suck to know he spent all that $$$ on Misty and Mark is living in the house.

                      Oh well, the money probably belonged to the investors from Ohio so who cares, right?

                      http://www.bcpa.net/RecInfo.asp?URL_Folio=474131032230
                      • re
                        Are you insinuating I am the chap from England? His posts show he can't spell worth a lick. Think about it. I'm not him, and you are clueless about who I am, but I am not clueless about who you are because I expect you to be indicted in the next few months and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and when you get out of prison have a fraud judgment follow you wherever you go.

                        Once again, you try to cast the blame onto others. You and your group are solely responsible for the looting of the life savings of many elderly people, two of whom happen to be relatives of mine. I have done my research, obviously, which has struck a chord with you.

                        It's been very easy to document this travesty. There are so many posts on the internet, and filings such as UCC filings that are all available online. For example, the Classic Manufacturers former owners who were cheated out of their seller note. Ah, now Durham lists that amount as a "loan." No loan there, it was the owners who did the seller note and were shafted out of it. How would the Brit know that Durham kept postponing that medication and then showed up disheveled, and claimed he couldn't spend any money because the US Attorney was monitoring his purchases? Please, if that is true how is it he can blow $40g a month plus utilities on a mansion in LA when he already has a smaller house in LA? Because it's not his money!

                        From what I have learned about your "friend"- this loser, Tim Durham, in my
                        quick studies, is that he has never been able to manage money. He was in debt before Fair, he has always blown every dime he has, and someone like this has no business being granted hundreds of millions of dollars of unsecured cash from trusting elderly people. The crimes Tim Durham have committed are outrageous at best even to a 10 year old. I sincerely hope Carl Brizzi's mother is reading this and gets her son to a mass service asap, because Mrs. Brizzi, I believe your son is also dishonest and swung over to the dark side during his Durham reign of terror. He didn't just guess to buy tens of thousands and probably hundreds of thousands of shares of Cellstar right before Brightpoint bought them! Get real!


                      • re: Harry
                        Well, "Harry," he blew enough on you too. It is absurd you insult full names, but the slightest hint at your identity gets a comment deleted. I didn't see you list any business ventures where you played a part. I remember a cross country road rally and a few others you brain stormed, but they weren't mentioned above. Tim was too generous with some of those around him, I agree (you are a perfect example), however if he made bad money decisions at times, that is not illegal in itself. He advised you well if he ever told you most people aren't too bright, that is an unfortunate truth. To stand back and observe this entire situation from a disinterested p.o.v., well there is your proof. Here is another: The most grotesque wealth, grandest homes and jets, and the most lavish lifestyles of all belong to those who sell others... NOTHING.
                        Check out Christian Ministry. How about lottery players? They have better odds of getting attacked by a bear and a shark on the same day then winning and they would likely fare better getting mauled then they would from suddenly being placed in charge of vast wealth. We all know the usual course for lottery winners. The poorest and those suffering the greatest are the biggest supporters of those giant businesses which ONLY SELL HOPE. My point is, there are situations out there far more interesting and far reaching than Durhams state of affairs, there are far more absurd money uses then I see here. We are all entitled to opinions and how they are voiced says a lot about who is talking. That you obviously take joy and pride in insulting everyone you can, that, old chap, says much about you and gives perspective to else you claim. You persist after Durham not for business reasons but rather for personal reasons that is clear.
                        • RE: Watch and learn
                          In rushes the bankruptcy lawyer, Mucklow, (Dickens could name him no better)
                          promising aid and relief and our demented, digging, documentalist declares...VICTORY?
                          Huh?
                          Has not Mr. Andrews made it clear throughout his 285 Durham articles that there are NO ASSETS? Even the Federal Government heading the investigation did not want Timmy's things and handed them back. Those lawyers, they aren't like the National Guard, they CHARGE DEARLY for "sending help on the way."
                          And the show's not over yet...the queen of "watch and learn," Martha Stewart, was both charged and convicted of insider trading
                          (Durham is yet to even be charged) and considering her life today, I would sure love to "deserve" it.
                          • Watch and learn
                            I seem to recall you, Tim, posting on the Brightpoint board, "Watch and learn" as you traded on what now appears to be inside information.

                            Thought you pulled all this off, and everyone was so incredibly stupid except you, huh? Wel, every time you trashed one of the few of us who dared to speak up, we'd dig and dig and dig and document and document. We know where the money went.

                            Watch and learn what's about to happen to you both legally and criminally. You so deserve this.
                          • trustee
                            The trustee is of the firm Baker Hostetler. http://www.bakerlaw.com/

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