Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Priorities Of Our U.S. Attorney's Office

While years have gone by since the Indianapolis U.S. Attorney's Office first received evidence from a whistle blower accusing businessman Tim Durham of running a Ponzi scheme and engaging in securities violations, there have still been no criminal charges brought against him. This delay continues to occur despite the fact that federal investigators finally raided his businesses eight months ago and his Fair Finance Company has been forced into bankruptcy, taking investors for at least $200 million in losses because Durham loaned the investors' money to companies he owned and never repaid the loans. Durham lived a lavish lifestyle with mansions, yachts, jet airplanes and a vast collection of pricey cars that has been recounted in numerous news reports in recent years. Durham also helped bankroll numerous politicians' campaigns, including Gov. Mitch Daniels and Marion Co. Prosecutor Carl Brizzi.

Yesterday, we learned that our U.S. Attorney's Office in Indianapolis had a more pressing case on which to work. "A federal grand jury in Indianapolis indicted [Rev. Wayne] Harris, 36, this month on two counts of wire fraud," the Star reports. "Convictions could bring a maximum 40-year prison sentence and a $500,000 fine, prosecutors said." According to the Star, "[f]ederal authorities say Harris, the son of a prominent late Indianapolis pastor, skipped out on [a $500,000] loan [to build a church] and moved to Texas after spending about $145,000 on a Mercedes-Benz, a mink coat and a Christian bookstore and its inventory." I'm glad to see our U.S. Attorney's office has time to bring the good reverend to justice, if not the much bigger fish, Tim Durham. Maybe if Rev. Harris had spread some of his bootie around to the politicians, he would still be a free man like Durham.


Marycatherine Barton said...

And while Tim Durham has been busy sweetening the pockets of the police and political authortities in our county and state, Wayne Harris's late father was a thorn in the side of these same powers, even to the extent of running as an independent write-in candidate for mayor of Indianapolis, againS both Goldsmith and Mahern, in 1991, joining with my third-party campaign for mayor calling for the then police chief's resignation. For many years, he had much publicity when he led marchs and rallies against governnment abuses.

So, Durham remains free, no criminal charges, but not young Harris. Thanks for this comparison, AI.

Citizen Kane said...

Harris must not be one of those "good corporate citizens" we here so much about - they always get the benefit of the doubt - the hope is that everyone will forget about it - I've seen it happen on a smaller scale frequently - the mayor says something is wonderful - not knowing the fact that the "wonderful thing" violates the law in some way - so discretion (the ability to ignore a violation) becomes the modus operandi for that particular case until everyone who cares moves on.