Durham's ex-wife explains bond for indicted financier

March 23, 2011

The ex-wife of indicted businessman Tim Durham said in a written statement that she and her father signed off on a $1 million bond to ensure his release from a federal detention center in California because they’re confident he’ll abide by the terms of his release.

Joan SerVaas and longtime Indianapolis businessman Beurt SerVaas guaranteed the $1 million needed to bond Durham out of the facility on Monday. He has been ordered to appear in federal court in Indianapolis no later than April 4. A date for the hearing has not yet been set.

Durham and two business partners, James Cochran and Rick Snow, were arrested March 16 after being indicted on 12 felony counts, including conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud. They're accused of defrauding about 5,000 investors in Akron, Ohio-based Fair Finance Co. of more than $200 million.

In an e-mailed statement, Joan SerVaas, the publisher of The Saturday Evening Post, said: “First and foremost, I want to say how sorry my father and I are for those who have lost their savings, investments and jobs as a result of the failure of Fair Finance.

“Tim and I have long been divorced, but as the father of our 20-year-old son, he will always be part of our family. My father and I have not paid [$1 million] for bail. We signed a surety bond for that amount as part of an agreement between Tim and the U.S. District Attorney’s office,” she continued.

“As I understand it, the purpose of bail is to assure Tim’s attendance in court. We agreed to these terms because we are confident that Tim will continue to cooperate with federal authorities and abide by the conditions of his release from detention.”

Durham, who once lived in a 10,700-square-foot estate on Geist Reservoir, was arrested at his home in Los Angeles.

Cochran and Snow were released on their own recognizance following a March 16 initial hearing in Indianapolis before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kennard Foster. The Southern District of Indiana does not require a bond to be posted.

Each faces a maximum of five years in prison for the conspiracy count, 20 years in prison for each wire fraud count and 20 years in prison for the securities fraud count. In addition, each could be fined $250,000 for each count upon which they are convicted.

More of IBJ's coverage of Tim Durham can be found here.




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