UPDATE: High-flying Durham gets extension to repay loans

Old National Bank has given Indianapolis entrepreneur Tim Durham an additional 12 months to repay loans that went into default Nov. 1.

If Durham repays the loans by Nov. 1 this year, Old National will drop a lawsuit it filed in December seeking $2.6 million, the Evansville-based bank said today.

Earlier today, Durham issued a statement saying he and Old National had settled the suit. However, Old National quickly retorted that the suit will not be settled until he fulfill terms of the extension.

“If not, we reactivate the pending litigation on the existing claims,” Old National General Counsel Gary R. Chase said in a statement.

Durham, though, retorted that Old National is quibbling about semantics. “I view it as a settlement,” Durham said. “We are moving forward on making the payment.”

Old National, which has been cleaning up an underperforming loan portfolio, claimed in the suit that Durham’s holding company, Obsidian Enterprises Inc., defaulted on $2.6 million in loans due Nov. 1.

The loans were made to one of Obsidian’s companies, Pyramid Coach Inc., a Nashville, Tenn., operator of luxury buses for corporations and the entertainment industry.

Pyramid’s financial performance has suffered due to a former manager who allegedly embezzled $500,000 to $1 million, Durham said in December.

Durham, 43, as well as Obsidian Chief Operating Officer Terry Whitesell and Whitesell’s wife, Julia, personally guaranteed the loans.

Durham occupies an office at the top of downtown’s Chase Tower, the tallest building in the state, and has said he wants to become the richest man alive.

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