Judge weighing request to unseal Fair Finance records

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A federal judge is weighing whether to unseal search-warrant documents related to the federal investigation of businessman Tim Durham and Akron, Ohio-based Fair Finance Co. following a hearing Thursday in Youngstown, Ohio.

Judge George J. Limbert heard arguments from attorneys on both sides of the issue but did not make a ruling, according to the Akron Beacon Journal.

The Beacon Journal and Indianapolis Star launched the legal battle in mid-December, several weeks after FBI agents raided Durham’s Indianapolis office and Fair’s headquarters. Indianapolis Business Journal and the Wall Street Journal joined the effort in early January.

The newspapers contend that the records should be unsealed in part because of intense community and national interest. In court Thursday, a representative of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Indianapolis argued that unsealing search warrants and FBI affidavits could damage the federal government's ongoing investigation, the Beacon Journal reported.

The probe has been public since the Nov. 24 raids. Court papers filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office that day allege Fair operated as a Ponzi scheme, using money from new investors to pay what it owed prior investors.

The raids occurred one month after IBJ published an investigative story that raised questions about whether Fair Finance had the financial wherewithal to repay Ohio investors who had purchased nearly $200 million in investment certificates.

Read the Beacon Journal story here.


  • Obsidian 8k filing
    I am glad to see that some people had Obsidian shareholders back in this 10/30/02 8k filing.

    On October 30, 2002, Champion Trailer, Inc. ("Champion"), a wholly-owned
    subsidiary of Obsidian Enterprises, Inc. ("Obsidian"), entered into a Memorandum
    of Agreement with Timothy S. Durham and Terry G. Whitesell pursuant to which
    Champion agreed to sell all of its assets to an entity to be designated by
    Messrs. Durham and Whitesell subject to the payment by Messrs. Durham and
    Whitesell of $1.00 and the assumption by the entity acquiring the assets of all
    of the liabilities of Champion except for the liability of Champion to Markpoint
    Equity Growth Fund IV ("Markpoint").

    If you have time, read some of Obsidians filings. They are some great reading.
  • Bernard Kerik sentenced today to FOUR years....
    not the best time to be getting prosecuted for white collar crime

  • Matter of Time
    UPDATE: Dan Laikin indicted, arrested
  • Dandamus Scotty
    "Durham Yacht up for sale: asking price $4.8 million." JANUARY 26, 2010.
    If the title transfered in AUGUST 2008 as you state, Andrew's headline and information was SERIOUSLY WRONG. It was sold close to 2 years ago. Come on big guy, put your money where your mouth is; I'll bet you say, 2K that headline was a LIE in so much that the yacht being sold in Turkey was NOT A POSSESSION OF DURHAMS AT THAT TIME. I always use my real e-mail address when I submit comments. Let me know if you really want to stand behind your words...if not, what do you bother on here?
    Oh, "Scotty," wrong on that point too, genius.
    I am flattered you have confused me for him several times now. We do share a commonality in that we have both been published around the world. No worries, confusion seems to be your common state I see.
  • CLST SEC filings
    What are the two SEC filings on 2/17 by CLST? One is the CFO resigning, but what is a CT order?
  • Here comes the judge, here comes the judge
    When and/or if the judge will make a decision on the unsealing of records?
  • re
    Oh, Scotty, do you have a life? Those IRS liens always got paid off when you know who rescued you, didn't they?

    With regards to the comment re the yacht, the yacht was titled in a corporation named Durham Leasing, using a Georgetown, Cayman Islands law firm. In August, 2008--which isn't two years ago, now is it--the yacht transferred title to a new corporation called Mariana Inc, set up by none other than a Georgetown, Cayman Islands law firm. Isn't that an amazing coincidence! And Timmy never registered the yacht with the Coast Guard, so there would be a public record of the hull #. No, he elected secrecy. He could shut everyone up by producing the bill of sale, showing the transfer of funds, and by the way at the same time producing AUDITED financials for DC Investments, Fair Finance and Fair Holdings. I'd also like to see his sales tax record for those cars. Yikes!

    Now, the interesting thing is that yacht had a sizeable mortgage from Key Bank--you may remember Key Bank used to own McDonald Investments at the very time that, according to Tim Morrison's asset freeze motion that stated Tim wired money from Fair Finance to a personal account of his at none other than McDonald Investments.

    And, what stocks did McDonald Investeents trade heavily in? Why, what a small world! Brightpoint and Cellstar--but with regard to Cellstar not until shortly before Brightpoint bought them! Another amazing coincidence. And, ol' McDonald does or at least at the time did the Brightpoint 401k. I want to say DID because it was the Knall/Cohen team that ran the 401k for Brightpoint, and now they are over at Stifel.

    And what happened right after ol Jeffypoo Cohen went to Stifel? Why, a Stifel analyst was brought in to say nice things about none other than National Lampoon after Jeffypoo moved to Stifel. You know, Cohen being a member of the tribe and all.

    But, back to Timmy Durham, my my my, the yacht had a mortgage, the cars have liens, the houses in the group (Cochran, Durham et al) had the cash stripped out of them, the companies like Classic had seller notes where the sellers got stiffed, it's almost as if Tim margined the cash coming in from Fair and just completely blew it pretending to be the world's richest guy.

    To me he is the world's biggest loser. I betcha a lot of those Fair Finance people feel that way, too.
  • re: Yo Yo
    YES, IT SHOULD MATTER WHO/WHAT FIRST STOPPED FAIR'S INTEREST PAYMENTS. It SHOULD matter WHO painted Fair investors as backward, weak,and gullible when the reality is they were earning HIGHER INTEREST RATES then they could earn in most other investment routes. It is A FACT DURHAM SOLD HIS YACHT 2 YEARS AGO, BUT NO SCHEDULED INTEREST PAYMENTS TO INVESTMENT CERTIFICATE HOLDERS WAS MISSED UNTIL AFTER THE RAID. There is an old saying that perception is reality. In our mdeia driven world how do you continue in business when you carry a blasphemed reviled name that the press has made of Fair, its investors, and its management? Depriving the company of its tools for operation for months is nothing compared to destroying the long earned respect of the Fair name. Who would come near it now that it is portrayed as a company run by debauched thieves with the intent to swindle and victimize? Why, IBJ even gave Durham his very own "Latest Durham News" as if he were a natural catastrophe where one could check in for the lasted casualty count. And why is it every time someone with a mentality differing from the lynch mob's comments, they are stalking the boards? Seems to be a running theme here among the IBJ comments.
    • re
      who cares who got credit! If you do the crime you do the time, buddy

      y'all need to get a life outside this board, I guess now that the $$$ are drying up you have no life, do ya??? Must totally suck to know that the only way you can get "rich" is to steal from a bunch of naive and elderly people over in small town Ohioville....how pathetic
    • Yaya
      "Prosecutors file suit a month after IBJ reported Durham used Fair like a personal bank..." This statement from Greg Andrews is include in almost ALL of his Durham articles.
      Even HE credits his reporting for the raid.
      Why don't you go back and "research" his endless Durham articles and see how many of them fail to boast of his influence on the case.
      • no witch hunt here
        The idea that a reporter on a personal "vendetta"would be the force behind an fbi raid and investigation is insane at best.People should research this story and continue to follow it.
      • re

        Yeah, it's a real vendetta by Greg that Tim Durham--not Greg Andrews--stiffed the former owners of Classic Trailers payment of their seller note due JUNE 2009--and it's really Greg's fault Fair Finance was BOUNCING dividend checks way before the October article ran.... call the banks in Wooster and check yourself. Upset clients were wanting the banks to refund their bounced dividend check deposit fees!

        Tim's dream come true would be putting Fair Holdings and Fair Finance into receivorship--the class action attorneys make a quick small fee and the investors are SCREWED because a large part of the assets were transferred to DC Investments, which would NOT be covered by a Fair Holdings/Fair Finance receivorship....

        and what are all those classaction victims going to do, sue everyone for legal malpractice? They are ignorant and know no better. I am personally embarrassed that any attorney has the audacity to forget the real vehicle for fraudulent transfers--DC Investments. Always follow the money, dude!

        I hope members of the Indiana Bar take note of how not to run a lawsuit! Bankruptcy is the appropriate remedy here so the assets frudulently transferred out can be recovered.

      • witch hunt
        youbetter hope your personal vendetta pans out.
        • re
          Pretty ironic that you are racing to the boards to see what is posted lately, huh?

          Are you worried about this?

        • I mean really...
          Way to go MAC!! LOL ~ Do you all really have nothing else to do other than "track" Durham? So much time wasted, are you really that much of a hater that you spend endless hours searching the net and "researching" all you can on the guy. I bet that if you put half the effort into your own life that you do his... you might just be a happier person! And let me tell you.. I could careless about what does or does not happen to TD~ I just think its a HOOT to see so many of you put on your lawyer hat and spread so much BS! Move on with you life... step away!!! You might all want to get together and form a special "group or club", you all could meet and sit around in one big circle, holding hands....maybe stand up and say "HI, I am MAC, this is why I follow TD and his life" hahahahahahaha Greg could be the LEADER... YES, Greg can you work on the group??? hehehehe
          • Saw this site, explains the $$$ trail

            GREAT SITE for Durham dirt

          Post a comment to this story

          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

          facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

          Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
          Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
          thisissue1-092914.jpg 092914

          Subscribe to IBJ
          1. Cramer agrees...says don't buy it and sell it if you own it! Their "pay to play" cost is this issue. As long as they charge customers, they never will attain the critical mass needed to be a successful on company...Jim Cramer quote.

          2. My responses to some of the comments would include the following: 1. Our offer which included the forgiveness of debt (this is an immediate forgiveness and is not "spread over many years")represents debt that due to a reduction of interest rates in the economy arguably represents consideration together with the cash component of our offer that exceeds the $2.1 million apparently offered by another party. 2. The previous $2.1 million cash offer that was turned down by the CRC would have netted the CRC substantially less than $2.1 million. As a result even in hindsight the CRC was wise in turning down that offer. 3. With regard to "concerned Carmelite's" discussion of the previous financing Pedcor gave up $16.5 million in City debt in addition to the conveyance of the garage (appraised at $13 million)in exchange for the $22.5 million cash and debt obligations. The local media never discussed the $16.5 million in debt that we gave up which would show that we gave $29.5 million in value for the $23.5 million. 4.Pedcor would have been much happier if Brian was still operating his Deli and only made this offer as we believe that we can redevelop the building into something that will be better for the City and City Center where both Pedcor the citizens of Carmel have a large investment. Bruce Cordingley, President, Pedcor

          3. I've been looking for news on Corner Bakery, too, but there doesn't seem to be any info out there. I prefer them over Panera and Paradise so can't wait to see where they'll be!

          4. WGN actually is two channels: 1. WGN Chicago, seen only in Chicago (and parts of Canada) - this station is one of the flagship CW affiliates. 2. WGN America - a nationwide cable channel that doesn't carry any CW programming, and doesn't have local affiliates. (In addition, as WGN is owned by Tribune, just like WTTV, WTTK, and WXIN, I can't imagine they would do anything to help WISH.) In Indianapolis, CW programming is already seen on WTTV 4 and WTTK 29, and when CBS takes over those stations' main channels, the CW will move to a sub channel, such as 4.2 or 4.3 and 29.2 or 29.3. TBS is only a cable channel these days and does not affiliate with local stations. WISH could move the MyNetwork affiliation from WNDY 23 to WISH 8, but I am beginning to think they may prefer to put together their own lineup of syndicated programming instead. While much of it would be "reruns" from broadcast or cable, that's pretty much what the MyNetwork does these days anyway. So since WISH has the choice, they may want to customize their lineup by choosing programs that they feel will garner better ratings in this market.

          5. The Pedcor debt is from the CRC paying ~$23M for the Pedcor's parking garage at City Center that is apprased at $13M. Why did we pay over the top money for a private businesses parking? What did we get out of it? Pedcor got free parking for their apartment and business tenants. Pedcor now gets another building for free that taxpayers have ~$3M tied up in. This is NOT a win win for taxpayers. It is just a win for Pedcor who contributes heavily to the Friends of Jim Brainard. The campaign reports are on the Hamilton County website. http://www2.hamiltoncounty.in.gov/publicdocs/Campaign%20Finance%20Images/defaultfiles.asp?ARG1=Campaign Finance Images&ARG2=/Brainard, Jim