Federal prosecutors have dropped their effort to seize the assets of Indianapolis businessman Tim Durham.The IBJ's Greg Andrew has this on acting U.S. Attorney Tim Morrison's decision to drop the case:
The U.S. Attorney's Office on Monday withdrew the request to take control of Durham's assets, including his 36,000-square-foot home along Geist Reservoir.
The request was made because investigators don't think Durham is a risk. Federal investigators said Durham ran an investment scheme using one of his companies, Ohio-based Fair Financial.
Investigators had originally sought to seize Durham's assets in Indiana and California in a 10-page civil complaint filed last week.
The complaint accuses Durham and his associates at Akron, Ohio-based Fair Financial of telling investors their money would be invested in low-risk, high-yield short-term consumer debt.
Tim Morrison, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, said his office had filed the case Nov. 24 to ensure Durham’s assets would not disappear. “Having [received] appropriate assurance they are not being dissipated, that litigation stopped,” said Morrison, who declined to say who provided that assurance.
The short-lived case provided the first public disclosure about the case investigators are trying to build against Durham, 47, the co-owner of Akron. Ohio-based Fair Finance Co. FBI agents on Nov. 24 executed search warrants and seized records and computer equipment at Durham’s office in Chase Tower in Indianapolis and at Fair’s Akron offices, but a bureau spokeswoman would not say what agents were after.
Inquiring minds want to know who intervened with Morrison to reverse the government's action? Interestingly, no attorney filed an appearance on behalf of Durham or his companies before Morrison filed his notice of dismissal today. A federal judge must still rule on the dismissal. The case has been assigned to Judge David Hamilton, who has been in the process of transferring all of his cases to other judges in order to assume his new seat on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Meanwhile, the Akron Beacon Journal reports that Fair Finance's Ohio offices failed to reopen today. Worried investors gathered outside the Akron office determined to get answers about the status of their money.