Investment Losses

E-mails suggest Fair Finance was on life support for years

February 26, 2011
Greg Andrews
Emails filed as exhibits in the Chapter 7 bankruptcy case of Fair Finance Co. this month strongly suggest company insiders knew years before Fair collapsed that it was in dire straits.
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Durham car collection fetches $2.2M

January 22, 2011
Greg Andrews
A 1929 Duesenberg once driven by Elvis Presley garnered the largest price—$1.237 million.
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Tim Durham's exotic cars hit auction block

January 21, 2011
Greg Andrews
Fair Finance Co.'s bankruptcy trustee scheduled the Friday auction to raise money for creditors of the defunct company, including more than 5,000 Ohio residents who hold more than $200 million in unsecured investment certificates.
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Tiny bank claims Stifel Nicolaus duped it on securities

January 10, 2011
J.K. Wall
The Peoples State Bank of Ellettsville says it was duped three years ago into investing more than $13 million into auction-rate securities just before those markets froze up. Now it's suing its broker, Stifel Nicolaus & Co., to get the money back.
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Developer who drew friends into Ponzi reaches $1M dealRestricted Content

January 8, 2011
Greg Andrews
Sydney "Jack" Williams, founder of Williams Realty Group, recruited dozens of investors, many with Indiana ties, to invest in a Florida business that turned out to be a giant fraud.
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COAN: Stocks will get worse before they get better

November 20, 2010
Paul Coan
Looking at the final years of the Great Depression tells me that next year might not be so kind to investors.
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Indianapolis investment adviser Gene Tanner in it for the long haulRestricted Content

November 20, 2010
Norm Heikens
At 78, L. Gene Tanner is one of the longest-serving investment advisers working in Indianapolis. Tanner spoke with IBJ's Norm Heikens about why he shifted to City Securities, his brush with convicted Ponzi scheme operator Bernard Madoff, and how his investment strategy has changed.
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Gold is booming, but for how long?Restricted Content

November 20, 2010
Marc D. Allan
Experts are split over whether runup in precious metal is a classic bubble.
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Home Loan Bank sues over losses on $3B mortgage portfolio

November 18, 2010
Cory Schouten
The Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis is suing some of the nation’s largest financial institutions to recover losses on a $3 billion portfolio of mortgage-backed securities.
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Recovery from Schrenker likely to be only 7 percent

October 25, 2010
Associated Press
A report by the receiver appointed to document Marcus Schrenker's assets says he just doesn't have enough money to repay investors more than that.
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OneAmerica dodged crisis, now reaps rewardsRestricted Content

October 9, 2010
Greg Andrews
The Indianapolis-based life insurer's investment portfolio held up through the recession, and the company reported record revenue and profit in 2009.
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Schrenker sentenced to 10 years for securities fraud

October 7, 2010
Associated Press
Hamilton Superior Court Judge Steven Nation sentenced Marcus Schrenker to 10 years in prison, ignoring Schrenker's claims that a lighter sentence would give him enough time to make things right.
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Bank suing Estridge Cos. for securities fraud

September 16, 2010
Scott Olson
Bank of Indiana files complaint against the home builder, alleging it failed to repay a $1 million investment due June 30. The complaint further accuses law firm Krieg DeVault LLP of malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty.
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Defendant pleads guilty in $880M fraud case

September 15, 2010
 IBJ Staff and Associated Press
A Florida man with ties to the founder of Indianapolis-based Williams Realty Group pleaded guilty Wednesday to running a multistate Ponzi scheme that prosecutors say left investors with up to $100 million in losses.
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Fair Finance co-owner Cochran uses forceful defense

September 4, 2010
Greg Andrews
Tim Durham's partner in a failed Akron, Ohio, company says a trustee has nothing to back up his allegations of fraud.
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Trustee sues real estate exec for $115M

July 10, 2010
Cory Schouten
The founder of an Indianapolis real estate firm is accused of preying on longtime friends to help a Miami man perpetrate a $900 million Ponzi scheme. Sydney “Jack” Williams persuaded more than a dozen Indiana investors to lend millions of dollars at high interest rates to a food brokerage firm called Capitol Investments USA Inc.
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Sale of local funeral home, cemetery business finalized

June 23, 2010
Pennsylvania-based StoneMor Partners could pay up to $32 million for Memory Gardens Management Co. after trust-fund and debt obligations are made.
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SKARBECK: Diversifying not sure fix for Lilly Endowment woesRestricted Content

May 1, 2010
Ken Skarbeck
Lilly Endowment has been a substantial Lilly stockholder for 73 years, so to focus on the past decade is a mistake.
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Sale of Memory Gardens restores $20M in trust funds

April 30, 2010
Acquisition by Indianapolis-based funeral home and cemetery business by Pennsylvania-based company will preserve funds depleted by former owner.
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Former basketball players accuse firm of investment fraud

April 16, 2010
Peter Schnitzler
Three Serbian players, two of whom spent time in the NBA, allege Carmel-based Worldwide Associates LLC mismanaged over $12 million.
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SKARBECK: How Grace stayed patient under pressure to sellRestricted Content

April 3, 2010
Ken Skarbeck
When we left, we were trying to imagine a few of the many obstacles Grace might have encountered as her initial investment grew into $7 million over 74 years.
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One exec pays off risky loan, another pays a big priceRestricted Content

January 23, 2010
Greg Andrews
Emmis' Jeff Smulyan paid off a loan collateralized by nearly all his Emmis stock. Retired Duke Realty Chairman John Wynne is facing new fallout from his margin loan, with the lender on his Williams Creek home pursuing foreclosure.
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SKARBECK: Stocks that pay dividends can provide yield, safetyRestricted Content

January 23, 2010
Ken Skarbeck
These are challenging times for savers who demand a high level of safety from their investments.
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Johnson County woman guilty of securities fraud

January 7, 2010
Wanda Robertson was sentenced to eight years in prison, with four years suspended, after pleading guilty Wednesday.
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Conseco shares fall on weak profit forecast

December 8, 2009
J.K. Wall
Carmel-based insurer also wants to amend bank loans to assuage investor concerns ahead of $200 million stock offering.
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  1. By Mr. Lee's own admission, he basically ran pro-bono ads on the billboard. Paying advertisers didn't want ads on a controversial, ugly billboard that turned off customers. At least one of Mr. Lee's free advertisers dropped out early because they found that Mr. Lee's advertising was having negative impact. So Mr. Lee is disingenous to say the city now owes him for lost revenue. Mr. Lee quickly realized his monstrosity had a dim future and is trying to get the city to bail him out. And that's why the billboard came down so quickly.

  2. Merchants Square is back. The small strip center to the south of 116th is 100% leased, McAlister’s is doing well in the outlot building. The former O’Charleys is leased but is going through permitting with the State and the town of Carmel. Mac Grill is closing all of their Indy locations (not just Merchants) and this will allow for a new restaurant concept to backfill both of their locations. As for the north side of 116th a new dinner movie theater and brewery is under construction to fill most of the vacancy left by Hobby Lobby and Old Navy.

  3. Yes it does have an ethics commission which enforce the law which prohibits 12 specific items. google it

  4. Thanks for reading and replying. If you want to see the differentiation for research, speaking and consulting, check out the spreadsheet I linked to at the bottom of the post; it is broken out exactly that way. I can only include so much detail in a blog post before it becomes something other than a blog post.

  5. 1. There is no allegation of corruption, Marty, to imply otherwise if false. 2. Is the "State Rule" a law? I suspect not. 3. Is Mr. Woodruff obligated via an employment agreement (contractual obligation) to not work with the engineering firm? 4. In many states a right to earn a living will trump non-competes and other contractual obligations, does Mr. Woodruff's personal right to earn a living trump any contractual obligations that might or might not be out there. 5. Lawyers in state government routinely go work for law firms they were formally working with in their regulatory actions. You can see a steady stream to firms like B&D from state government. It would be interesting for IBJ to do a review of current lawyers and find out how their past decisions affected the law firms clients. Since there is a buffer between regulated company and the regulator working for a law firm technically is not in violation of ethics but you have to wonder if decisions were made in favor of certain firms and quid pro quo jobs resulted. Start with the DOI in this review. Very interesting.

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