Judge: Durham’s home-detention restrictions to continue

July 21, 2011
Convicted financier Tim Durham, right, is set to be sentenced Friday.

A federal judge on Thursday denied a request from indicted financier Tim Durham to relax restrictions of his home detention, which he is serving at an undisclosed location in the Geist area.

Following his April arrest on 12 felony counts, Durham had asked the court to modify the conditions of his release to visit his attorney’s office more frequently and to travel to California up to 12 days a month.

Durham is acting CEO of National Lampoon Inc. in Los Angeles.

But Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson said Durham already has enough flexibility.

“Yes, it’s inconvenient,” the judge said. “But it’s a lot less inconvenient than being detained in, say, Henderson, Ky.”

A 23-page grand jury indictment alleges that Durham and business partner James F. Cochran worked with former Fair Finance Chief Financial Officer Rick D. Snow to devise and execute a scheme to defraud investors in the Akron, Ohio-based company.

Authorities say that after Durham bought Fair in 2002, he doled out  related-party loans with abandon, leaving the company unable to repay Ohio residents who purchased unsecured investment certificates boasting interest rates as high as 9.5 percent. More than 5,200 investors are owed more than $230 million.

Durham, Cochran and Snow have denied wrongdoing.

Also at Thursday’s hearing, Magnus-Stinson granted Cochran’s request to have a public defender represent him and appointed attorney William Dazey.

Earlier this month, Cochran told the court he now works as an independent contractor selling swimming pools and that his salary is based entirely on commission.

He also said he temporarily receives $1,800 a month in rental income from two homes he owned that are in foreclosure.

Magnus-Stinson instructed him at the previous hearing on July 14 to make inquiries to a handful of lawyers to determine if he could afford counsel.

“Nobody was under $100,000?” Magnus-Stinson asked lawyer Jennifer Lukemeyer, who is withdrawing as his counsel.

“No,” she replied.

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


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