(INDIANAPOLIS) - A mistake by federal prosecutors means Indianapolis financier Tim Durham will get out of prison sooner than expected.
Late Thursday afternoon, a federal appeals court in Chicago overturned two convictions of wire fraud. Durham was accused of running a massive Ponzi scheme that caused more than $200 million in losses for thousands of investors at the investment firm Fair Finance.
He appealed for several reasons. One - that the evidence did not support the conviction (which appeals judges agreed with). Turns out, prosecutors meant to give the court large stacks of documents that showed how two wire transfers were used for personal gain. Instead, they only entered the first page into evidence. The appeals court wrote, "it was clearly an oversight, but the mistake leaves a crucial gap in the evidence."
Durham was originally sentenced to 50 years, but he will now be resentenced without the those two charges. He still stands convicted on eight counts of wire fraud, one count of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy.
Judges upheld convictions for two of Durham's associates - James Cochran, who was originally sentenced to 25 years, and Rick Snow, who got 10 years.
Prosecutors said the three plundered the Akron, Ohio-based business of its assets and used the money to fund luxurious lifestyles.
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