(INDIANAPOLIS) - Indianapolis businessman Tim Durham and partners Jim Cochran and Rick Snow are sitting in the Marion County Jail this morning.
The trio is in the custody of U.S. Marshals after the jury found them guilty of bilking five thousand investors in a $200 million Ponzi scheme.
The jury found Durham guilty on all twelve counts of conspiracy to commit fraud, wire fraud and securities fraud. They found Jim Cochran guilty on eight of the counts and Rick Snow guilty on five of the counts. The men are being held pending a detention hearing next Monday morning before Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson.
U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett says the convictions show how such cases won't be tolerated by his office and he congratulated his team including lead prosecutor Winfield Ong.
Ong stated that he'll likely seek life in prison for Durham. He says they're still mulling over suggested sentences for Durham's partners.
Ohio investor Donald Russell says the convictions renew his faith in the justice system and the nation. Russell and his deceased mother lost $500,000 in life savings that they invested in one of Durham's companies Fair Finance.
Russell says the convictions are just the beginning. He's among numerous investors pursuing civil suits in an effort to recover lost money. None of the defense attorneys in the case made themselves immediately available to reporters following the verdict.
Thousands of investors who claim they lost millions to Tim Durham and partners can still file civil suits to recoup their money. However, Indianapolis attorney Robert Hammerle says they won't likely see much return. Hammerle says the federal bankruptcy trustee has likely recovered most of Durham's assets. Yet Hammerle adds that the cost of recovery and the legal process alone mean investors would only see pennies on the dollar.
Hammerle says the trustee has pursued firms and individuals who've gotten money or contributions from Durham. He says they include Governor Mitch Daniels, attorney Carl Brizzi, businessmen and even law firms.
Hammerle says redistribution back to investors is the goal, but recovered assets simply won't come close to matching initial investments.
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