Tim Durham’s Fair Finance Company has officially withdrawn its request from the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Securities to sell additional investment certificates to Ohio investors. The company has remained on lock down since Nov. 24 after federal prosecutors filed court papers accusing Durham of running a Ponzi scheme. That same day, FBI agents stormed Durham’s Indianapolis office and the Akron, Ohio, offices of Fair Financial where they seized boxes of banking records and computer equipment.
No one has been charged with criminal wrongdoing.
The FBI raids occurred one month after IBJ reporter Greg Andrews published an in-depth investigative story that raised questions about the financial health of Fair Financial and whether the company had enough money to repay the $200 million it owed to Ohio investors.
A number of stories have since come forth citing evidence that Durham and others used Fair Finance as a personal bank for years.
“We concluded some time ago that Ohio would never allow Fair Finance to register any more securities,” said Thomas Hargett of Maddox Hargett & Caruso P.C., in a Jan. 13 article in the Indianapolis Star. Hargett and David P. Meyer & Associates Co. are working to get class-action status on behalf of investors. Their complaint, filed last month in Akron, Ohio, accuses Fair Finance and its officers of violating the Ohio Securities Act and other breaches of legal duty that included duping investors into buying investment certificates from Fair Finance.
Late last month, more than 1,000 Fair Finance investors packed the Fisher Auditorium at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in hopes of getting some answers about their investments.
The meeting was spearheaded by Ohio Congressman John Boccieri, who invited area attorneys, Ohio securities officials and representatives from the FBI to answer questions and offer guidance to investors.
As reported Jan. 27 by The Daily Record, one investor asked what was being done about potential asset liquidations, noting that Durham’s 98-foot yacht is reportedly up for sale. Other investors wanted to know why the U.S Attorney’s Office decided to drop the civil suit against Durham and unfreeze his assets.
“Reports have said that Mr. Durham doesn’t want to be known as one of the richest men in America, he wants to be the richest man in America,” Boccieri said in the article. “I find that absolutely egregious and that people would do this and perpetuate such acts on people who have put their life savings in these types of investments.”
If you have questions about investments in Fair Finance, contact us.