A meeting of Fair Finance Co. investors held Tuesday night at a northeast Ohio hotel drew an overflow crowd of 1,100 people,
many of them wracked with fear they won’t get their money back, an attorney who attended said.
Tom Hargett of Fishers-based Maddox Hargett & Caruso said the informational meeting organized by his firm and Columbus, Ohio-based David P. Meyer & Associates attracted far more people than anticipated.
The firms last month filed a lawsuit seeking to rescind $200 million in investor purchases of Fair Finance securities and to slap company owner Tim Durham, an Indianapolis businessman, and other insiders with millions of dollars in punitive damages. The case is seeking class-action certification.
“I was overwhelmed, shocked and saddened by the response,” Hargett said of the meeting in the Akron suburb of Fairlawn. “The angst and anger, and sense of fear, in this group was just unbelievable.”
Fair Finance raised money by selling investment certificates—securities that could only be purchased by Ohio residents. Fair’s filings with regulators don’t say how many investors it had. An average investment of $50,000 would indicate Fair had about 4,000 investors.
The Akron, Ohio, company has remained closed since Nov. 24, when FBI agents executed search warrants and seized records at Durham’s Indianapolis office and at Fair’s headquarters.
The raids occurred a month after IBJ published an investigative story raising questions about whether Fair had the financial wherewithal to repay investors.
The story reported that Durham used Fair almost like a personal bank after buying it seven years ago. He, partners and related firms now owe it more than $168 million.
Durham, 47, has denied doing anything improper, and has not been charged with a crime.