Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Durham Seeks Dismissal Of Charges, Alleging Government Misconduct

An attorney for indicted Ponzi scheme operator Tim Durham has filed a motion in the U.S. district court for the southern district of Indiana seeking the dismissal of the conspiracy and fraud charges brought against him earlier this year, alleging the government illegally gathered evidence against his client before it has properly obtained a search warrant. The Star's Tim Evans explains:

Federal officials violated wiretap laws while investigating financier Tim Durham, according to a motion filed today that calls for the dismissal of conspiracy and fraud charges against Durham.
In a "memorandum in support of motion to dismiss" filed this morning in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis attorney John Tompkins lays out a timeline of the 2009 wiretap process that alleges "the government has engaged in a course of conduct that both constitutes gross misconduct so severe that dismissal is warranted" and violates federal wiretap laws.
The filing basically alleges federal investigators began capturing information from Durham's telephone before obtaining a warrant to do so on Nov. 6, 2009.
It also contends "the government has engaged in additional misconduct by providing deceptive and misleading information in response" to defense questions about the wiretap.
Durham stands accused of defrauding small investors in rural Ohio out of more than $200 million through the Fair Finance Company he and his business partner, James Cochran, acquired nearly a decade ago. Even if the government is prohibited from using the evidence it gathered from the wiretaps, assuming Durham's attorneys allegations are true, the government should have more than sufficient independent evidence to support its case against Durham. The fact remains that the investor's money is gone, and the bankruptcy trustee for the company has independently confirmed that most of the money was diverted by Durham and his associates for their own personal benefit.

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