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Crime and Courts


Indianapolis "jet setters" to be sentenced for Akron fraud
Northeast Ohio victims want justice but expect little in the way of restitution
by WKSU's TIM RUDELL


Reporter
Tim Rudell
 
Fair Finance operated mostly from this building on Market Street in Akron. When Timothy Durham took over the securities firm branch offices were opened in several places, including North Canton, and Wooster.
Courtesy of TPR
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In The Region:

A major chapter of the Fair Finance story is likely to come to an end Friday. The three men convicted of bilking thousands of northeast Ohio investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars are to be sentenced in federal court in Indiana.  WKSU’s Tim Rudell reports.

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Timothy Durham’s fraud hooked investors for more than 200-million dollars. And it may now land him a prison term of more than 200 years.   

Durham, business partner James Cochran, and Rick Snow, their accountant at Akron-based Fair Finance, were convicted in July of turning the small securities seller into a Ponzi scheme.  

Defense attorneys have asked for light sentences—five years for Durham. They argue that their clients were bumblers not conspirators.

Prosecutors are calling for the max, including up to 225 years for Durham.  They say he and Cochran bought Fair Finance from the family of its Depression era founder, Ray Fair, all the while intending to divert its assets to their personal use and use its reputation for reliability to lure more investors.

Dan Sciury of Canton says he was a typical victim of the scheme.  “…“most of these folks were elderly like myself…retirees who had invested there in good faith because of the sterling reputation that Mr. Fair had had—he never cheated anyone out of anything—and we all got bilked. That’s the long and the short of it.  And these people were just thieves.  They were conniving and they knew just what they had done. There’s no one who could have done the things they did without it being planned and calculated.”

Durham, Cochran and Snow are scheduled for sentencing in Indianapolis where they were tried--their corporate holding company and their power base were headquartered there.

Sciury hopes the three spend the rest of their lives in jail; but also is a bit fatalistic. “…you know…it doesn’t matter if they give them 200 years or to spend the rest of their lives in prison because there’s no way that’s going to make restitution for all the grief and suffering that they’ve caused in the lives of many people.  It was absolutely devastating.  It was devastating for me.  My plans were for this money to be for my daughter who is handicapped.”

Federal agents raided Fair Finance offices in November of 2009 and the company was turned over to a bankruptcy trustee in early 2010

Related WKSU Stories

Judge to hold hearing for convicted owner of Akron-based finance company
Thursday, November 1, 2012

Jury convicts Tim Durham of looting Fair Finance
Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bankruptcy trustee's suit calls Akron-based Fair Finance a "cash cow" for insiders
Tuesday, April 13, 2010

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