By all accounts, Tim Durham is a smart guy – a financial mastermind who built companies and orchestrated complex business deals worth millions of dollars. Then, greed apparently caught up with him. On June 20, Durham was convicted of 12 felony fraud charges, and now faces the very real possibility of living out the rest of his life behind prison bars.
Durham is currently locked up in the Marion County Jail, awaiting a detention hearing set for Monday that decides whether he remains in jail until his formal sentencing.
It’s quite a change from the mansions and lavish lifestyle that Durham has been accustomed to. But then again, 5,000 other lives have been drastically altered, as well. They are the elderly investors of Fair Finance and the individuals that the government says were swindled out of more than $200 million by Durham and two business associates, Jim Cochran and Rick Snow.
Durham’s six-day trial included thousands of pages of documents and taped phone conversation from FBI wiretaps, as U.S. prosecutors presented evidence to show jurors that Durham and fellow Fair Finance executives Cochran and Snow ran Fair Finance as a Ponzi scheme. Prosecutors alleged that the defendants used Fair Finance as their own personal bank, taking out tens of millions of dollars in related-party loans for themselves and friends. The loans were never repaid.
During the course of Durham’s trial, FBI-recorded phone conversations captured Durham and Cochran devising excuses to tell investors who wanted to cash in their investments or why they would no longer be receiving interest payments. The recordings also revealed conversations between Durham and Snow about how to hide bad loans that Fair Financial had made.
Durham’s defense attorney, John Tompkins, says his client plans to appeal the 12 felony convictions.