Trustee: Durham used Fair funds for gambling, donations

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Indianapolis businessman Tim Durham used millions of dollars from Fair Finance Co. for gambling and to make contributions to Indiana politicians, according to a bankruptcy trustee overseeing the Akron, Ohio, firm’s liquidation.

Trustee Brian Bash said at a creditors meeting in Akron on Monday that he has identified about $54 million that Durham borrowed from the company.

Bash said that includes $2.8 million spent on gambling and at resorts, $3.3 million spent on interior decorating, $14 million spent on real estate and $1 million spent on contributions, many of them to Hoosier politicians, according to the Akron Beacon Journal.

The Durham loans represent the largest chunk of the more than $168 million in related-party loans issued by Fair. "It appears there was very little hope of repayment," Bash said of the money Durham borrowed from the firm.

Durham also loaned money from the company to friends and failing businesses, according to filings with securities regulators. The filings show that the lending spree began shortly after he and partner Jim Cochran bought the business in 2002 and continued into last fall.

Bash declined to estimate how much he might be able to recoup for Fair’s principal creditors—Ohio residents who purchased unsecured investment certificates with interest rates as high as 9.5 percent. The 5,000 investors, many of them elderly and with modest incomes, are owed more than $200 million.

Fair Finance shut down in late November, after FBI agents raided its offices and seized records. The same day, the Justice Department filed court papers alleging Durham was operating Fair as a Ponzi scheme, selling new investment certificates to pay off prior purchasers.

An FBI investigation continues. Durham has not been charged with a crime.

Durham, 47, has acknowledged owing lots of money to Fair, but denied defrauding investors. In court papers, his attorneys contend offering circulars provided to prospective purchasers of investment certificates outlined the risks, including that they carried no government guarantee.



  • another business
    I do believe that Kings Image was just another business that Durham was part owner of, so why not support his own business
  • I love the Money
    Bob Grand and Carl Brizzi are the #1 crooks. Those boys could care less about good policy or their community. Ask Joe Loftus; they love love love love the money.
  • Questions
    Can anyone explain 1) why Carl would need to repeatedly pay Northeast Lawn Care hundreds of dollars in campaign expenses 2) cut a check to David Wyser, a tax-paid, salaried employee for almost $1g 3) pay for various cell phones.

    I'd like to know these answers and more.

  • Idiotic
    Okay so if you are a tailor you provide a product and a service. I tailor your clothes and sell them to you. Services COST MONEY. The clothes that I sell you COST MONEY. Running my business COSTS MONEY. So therefore, you think it's appropriate to shake down a small business owner for $200,000 without RETURNING to him the clothing or the service. That is downright criminal. This would more than likely bankrupt his business. What a GREAT idea! Make a small business that has done nothing wrong suffer to pay back naive investors a few bucks. If you want a return from this scenario, sell his clothes. I know if I were a small business owner I would want my product and my time BACK before returning money but hey that's just me. As for Mcdonalds, the burgers that are made COST money, the employees who make the burgers COST money. So therefore Mcdonald's and a Tailor shop should just give people free money and take losses on there businesses? Go whine to Obama about how you want everything in life for free pal
  • A BREAK????
    The Trustee specifically stated that Durham spent $201,000 of Fair Finance investor money at The Kings Image. That is a fact.
    If the Trustee finds Durham's money trail leads to every nook and cranny involving other businesses that profited off Durham's fraud then they too should be required to return the money as well.
    Two hundred thousand dollars is not the price of a Happy Meal at McDonald's.
  • A break
    So should somebody go around to all of the restaurants and fast food joints frequented by Durham collecting money too? Give me a break!
  • Return The Money
    Stephen King may be just a tailor but he received looted Fair Finance money to the tune of over $200,000. King's nobody's fool, he knew where the money came from just as the Trustee reported. In my book, a person who knowingly receives stolen property is as much a crook as the person who gave him the money.
    Durham had a corporate jet, he could have had his suits made anywhere in the world. He didn't have to pick a rag shop in Castleton.
    King needs to return the money to Fair Finance investors just like the politicians. $200 grand isn't chump change.
    That's where the line gets drawn.
    • Draw a line
      JC - Stephen King is a tailor, not a crook. There's only a few custom houses in Indy, so it had to be somebody. If you castigate everyone Durham ever purchased something from, half of Indy would be on the list.
    • $200 Grand For Clothes!!!
      What's the deal with Durham spending $200,000 for clothing at the King's Image using Fair Finance $$$. Word is Tim's buddy Scott McKain dropped a bundle for clothes there too. I wonder if Scott put that on the Durham Capital Investment credit card or whatever other Durham shell company he was an officer with. Time will tell.
      King's Image, anybody know anything about them? What are they, clothiers to the mob or what?
      • Obsidian Shareholders
        Has anybody looked into how TD took Obsidian private a couple years back? Where did they get the dough to take it private? The SEC filings are a real interesting read. I wonder if Brian B. is involved in that also. But remember innocent until proven guilty.
      • Grege get a story And make it up
        What is the charge it's been almost 1 year sence the FBI shut down the guys busness and all we have to show for it is this guys man crush on 2 indy guys what's up with this paper do we realy have nothing to report anymore ?
        • The Brizz
          The Brizz will never return the money. He stated long ago that he'd have to wait to see how the investigation turned out. Now it is public, but you must remember. The Brizz IS THE LAW. Whatever Brizz says goes. If the Brizz still wants to believe Durham is innocent then he will not prosecute or return the money. I really hope Daniels mans up and returns the money and I think he will. If he doesn't we have a serious problem here in Indy.
        • The Gov
          I missed the paragraph that stated that our gov recieved $195,000 reelection donation for his buddy Tim.
        • re
          Clayton, that was really funny! Finally some humor in this otherwise tragic comedy.

          Greg and Cory, keep up the great work. Judging by the hits you guys get people are interested in seeing Durham go to jail. Or, Durham and Brizzi et al are reading your articles a zillion times a day. Lord knows they don't seem to care about showing up at their jobs. Oh yeah, wait, Durham's job was to spend the money he stole and Brizzi's job was to help him. That IS work.

          Speaking of work....has anyone pulled Brizzi's auto logs? Just curious how often he drives to Elkhart to check on his "investment."
        • Oh What Tangled Webs We Weave, When We Practice to Deceive
          The impending doom is getting closer by the day...
        • Denied defrauding
          I guess it was just a NO interest loan...no interest in paying any of it back! What a clASS act.

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