News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Breaking News

Local & Bistate

November 30, 2012

Indiana financier gets 50 years for $200m swindle

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana financier and former chief executive of National Lampoon convicted of swindling investors out of about $200 million was sentenced today to 50 years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson said the case against Timothy Durham was characterized by “deceit, greed and arrogance” and that Durham had violated the trust of thousands of small investors from the American Heartland.

“We drive Chevys and Buicks and Ford, not Ducatis. That’s how most of us roll,” Magnus-Stinson said. “When they’re defrauded, it is the most serious offense because it undermines the fabric of this country.”

Two of Durham’s associates, James Cochran and Rick Snow, were to be sentenced later today.

A jury in June found the three men guilty of securities fraud and conspiracy. It also convicted Durham, a major Indiana Republican Party donor who resigned his post at National Lampoon in January, of 10 counts of wire fraud, while Cochran and Snow were convicted on some of those counts.

Prosecutors have said the three stripped Akron, Ohio-based Fair Finance of its assets and used the money to buy mansions, classic cars and other luxury items and to keep another of Durham’s company afloat. The men were convicted of operating an elaborate Ponzi scheme to hide the company’s depleted condition from regulators and investors, many of whom were elderly.

Durham’s attorney, John Tompkins, argued at trial that Durham and the others were caught off-guard by the economic crisis of 2008, and bewildered when regulators placed them under more strict scrutiny and investors made a run on the company.

Attorneys for all three men had asked the judge for lighter sentences than those recommended. Tompkins sought a total of five years for Durham — three years in prison and two years of home detention.

Prosecutors had wanted 225 years for Durham. Magnus-Stinson said she couldn’t sentence him to that much because that number would be as “puffed up” as statements that he held $280 million in assets. But she clearly showed her displeasure with Durham, telling him he had been “raised better” and noting that though he testified that he “felt terribly” for the victims, he had shown no sincere remorse.

Barbara Lukacik, 74, an Ohio nun who said she lost $125,000 in the Fair Finance collapse, said she had forgiven Durham and the others but testified before the sentencing that a lengthy sentence was warranted.

“If you receive a short sentence — a slap on the wrist, so to say — I do not think it will be enough time for your heart and your conscience to realize your sin and your greed,” she said.

The charges against Durham led several GOP politicians, including Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, to return hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions sought by Fair Finance’s bankruptcy trustee.  

Associated Press writers Rick Callahan and Ken Kusmer in Indianapolis contributed to this story.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local & Bistate
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Israeli Aircraft Hits Dozens of Gaza Targets Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Raw: Black Boxes of Downed Jetliner Turned Over Raw: Plane Lands on New York Highway ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy
NDN Video
Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Rory McIlroy struggles, surges, wins British Open
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity