Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Judge Magnus-Stinson Takes Hard Line On Convicted Ponzi Schemer Durham

Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson showed no sympathy for convicted Ponzi schemer Tim Durham and his business associate, James Cochran, in ordering the pair to remain in jail pending sentencing. Their accomplice, Rick Snow, fared better. Judge Magnus-Stinson will allow him to continue on home detention before he is sentenced.  The judge spoke of her concern that money still missing from the company the two bilked from Fair Finance's investors might be used to finance their escape from justice. According to the IBJ's Cory Schouten, she even suggested the original $1 million bond posted by Durham's father-in-law, Beurt SerVaas, could have came from the missing funds.

Durham's former father-in-law, local businessman Beurt SerVaas, had put up $1 million bond pending trial. The bond will be released since Durham will now be held indefinitely.
Magnus-Stinson suggested the SerVaas bond assets could have been "put up with Fair money in the first place" based on some of the insider loans the company had issued to Durham family members. And besides, she said, the jury's verdict suggests Durham has "no respect for other people's money."
She also expressed skepticism at Tompkins' simultaneous claim that Durham doesn't have the financial means to attempt to flee and that he's essential to recovering more money for Fair's victims.
"It's the missing money the court is concerned about," she said.
Durham and Cochran likely will be transfered to a federal correctional facility in Kentucky. Snow was released following the hearing and will be confined to his home, which he shares with his wife of 22 years and teenage children (who are 14 and 16).
Durham's lawyer, John Tompkins, said he intends to appeal his client's convictions. U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett said federal prosecutors will seek a life sentence for Durham. The sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled.

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