Local businessman agrees to settle trustee claims

An Indianapolis businessman has agreed to pay $125,000 to settle a lawsuit brought against him by the Fair Finance Co. bankruptcy trustee.

Since early 2010, trustee Brian Bash has been trying to recover funds for investors in Akron, Ohio-based Fair Finance, which was led by Tim Durham until his financial empire collapsed in late 2009.

In a Friday court filing, attorneys for the trustee said Stephen Blaising has agreed to pay the $125,000 in installments before May 2015.

Bash had claimed that Blaising received $228,751 from Durham in early 2007 for his repurchase of Blaising’s shares in Durham’s Indianapolis-based leveraged-buyout firm, Obsidian Capital Partners LP.

The trustee claimed in the suit that the exchange constitutes avoidable transfers under state law.

Blaising is co-founder of Atlanta-based Brain Surgery Worldwide Inc., which has an office in Indianapolis. He spent much of the 1980s and 1990s as an advertising executive in Indianapolis.

Also this month, Bash forged a settlement with Durham’s ex-wife and adopted son in which they together agreed to pay $110,000. Joan SerVaas will pay $100,000 and Bernard Durham $10,000 to settle the suit.

Tim Durham and many friends and business associates drew millions of dollars from Fair Finance, leaving the company unable to repay more than 5,000 Ohio investors who bought more than $200 million in unsecured notes from the company.

Federal prosecutors charged that Durham ran Fair as a massive Ponzi scheme. A jury in June 2012 found Durham guilty on 12 felony fraud counts—a verdict he’s appealing. A judge sentenced him in August 2012 to 50 years in prison.

Business partner Jim Cochran received a 25-year sentence, and former CFO Rick Snow was sentenced to 10 years.

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