Battery charges dropped against Fair Finance co-owner

The Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office has dropped domestic battery charges against Fair Finance Co. co-owner Jim Cochran after the alleged victims declined to pursue the case.

Cochran, 55, had been charged with misdemeanor domestic battery and battery after an incident at his Geist Reservoir home involving his wife and son in March 2010, as the FBI was investigating the business he co-owns with Tim Durham.

A bench trial had been scheduled for Thursday morning. But in court, Deputy Prosecutor Joshua M. Kocher asked Superior Court Judge William J. Hughes to dismiss the case without offering an explanation.

After the hearing, Kocher said neither Cochran's wife nor his son were interested in pursuing the charges. Cochran's son, James, said in a deposition that he had hit his father first after misinterpreting an interaction between his father and stepmother, Kocher said.

Cochran’s wife, Susan, told Fishers police that her husband broke into a locked bedroom and began arguing with her. She said he grabbed her by the upper arms and threw her, causing her to strike her head against a wall. The stepson, who tried to intervene, was punched in the eye by Cochran, according to a probable cause affidavit.

In mug shots released by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department, Cochran appeared to have a cut under his right eye. However, according to the affadavit, Cochran denied an altercation occurred. He said he had been walking around his home when he tripped on his socks and fell against the front door.

This was not the first time Cochran faced a domestic battery charge. He was charged with that crime and resisting law enforcement after a 2007 incident. Prosecutors dropped the case the following year after Cochran entered a diversion program.

Cochran, Durham and a third Fair Finance executive were arrested by FBI agents on March 16 after a federal grand jury indicted them on 12 criminal charges, including conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud, wire fraud and securities fraud. They're accused of defrauding about 5,000 investors in Akron, Ohio-based Fair Finance out of more than $200 million.

Cochran and Durham teamed up to acquire Fair in 2002.

Find all of IBJ's Fair Finance coverage here.

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