The debacle involving Fair Finance and owner Tim Durham just keeps getting bigger. There are more than 13,000 outstanding Fair Finance investment certificates valued at more than $208 million, according to a just-released report from Brian Bash, the court-appointed trustee of Fair Finance. Translation: More than 13,000 claims will be filed as part of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding.
The offices of Fair Finance have remained closed since Nov. 24, after federal agents seized banking records and company computers. On that same day, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Indianapolis filed court papers alleging that Fair Finance operated as a Ponzi scheme, using money from new investors to pay off prior purchasers of the investment certificates.
In other Fair Finance news, friends and business associates of Durham who accepted millions of dollars in loans from his company could be facing problems of their own.
As reported March 6 by the Indianapolis Business Journal, the trustee in the case, Brian Bash, is going to try and turn Fair Finance’s assets into cash wherever possible. That means firms and companies with outstanding loans from Fair Finance can expect to hear from Bash in the near future.
Extending loans enabled Durham to continue listing the money as assets on Fair Finance’s balance sheets, which in turn gave investors the false impression that the company was fiscally sound.
Moreover, Fair Finance had no outside auditor. In other words, there was no one to sound the alarm that there was something awry with Fair’s accounting procedures.
The various people and companies listed as owing money include Scott McKain, former vice chairman of Durham’s Indianapolis-based business Obsidian Enterprises; Joan SerVaas, Durham’s ex-wife and owner of Curtis Publishing; Jeff Osler, Durham’s brother in law and owner of Geist Sports Academy; Henri Najem, an Indianapolis restaurant owner who is best known for his Bella Vita restaurants; and MyGhetto.com, a social-networking site created by the rapper Ludacris, a close friend of Durham’s.
As reported in the IBJ article, some of the people and firms listed cite inaccuracies with the trustee’s list.