Assistant U.S. Attorney Winfield Ong urged the defendants be taken into custody, telling the judge they are flight risks. The defense attorneys argued their clients should be released back to home detention pending sentencing.
"Tens of millions of dollars are missing," Ong told the judge. "All of them are facing life sentences. All it takes is $2,000 to get across the border."
U.S. Attorney Joseph Hogsett hailed the jury's decision, calling the case "the most significant piece of litigation the Southern District has seen in a generation."
The verdict was a huge victory for Hogsett's office and the FBI, which began investigating Durham more than three years ago. Hogsett vowed to seek the "full and maximum penalties." He said that makes it "entirely likely (the defendants) will serve the rest of their lives in jail."As I've recently reported, federal judges have not had a tendency as of late to be lenient on criminals convicted of economic-related crimes involving Ponzi schemes. Those convicted are being sentenced as if they had been found guilty of capital crimes. A number of similarly-situated defendants have faced sentences in excess of 100 years. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years. Thirty years is likely the least sentence Durham could expect from today's verdict. Given the staggering sum out of which he defrauded small Ohio investors of Fair Finance, in excess of $200 million, he will no doubt face a sentence that will put him behind bars the remainder of his life. Durham and his associates' convictions, however, provide little solace to those who lost their entire life savings so they could live their high-flying, Playboy lifestyles. The whistleblower who made today's convictions possible had this to say about today's news:
Who would have thought this would come full circle to my Mennonite step-mother and her family--you picked the wrong girl to stalk and harass year after year which caused me to dig. And, Greg Andrews did the rest along with Cory Schouten, who will forever be my heros. Thank you, Greg and Cory--for believing and reading the documents and daring to dig and running the stories so you got the tips from inside Fair. Thank you to Jeff S who put a stop to the public antics and slander that Carl [Brizzi] emitted because he's mad his friends got busted and the good times for him came to an end. And, thank you to God for putting Tim Durham away so I, and his other victims, can once again have a life. No one should be stalked and harassed and stolen from year after year and this verdict ensures Tim will never again be able to use the financial and or legal system to ruin someones life. And, on a side note I have never met Tim Durham despite the fact I am referred to as his ex girlfriend. Never met him, never been in a room with him, nothing. All I did was turn him in after I was asked to "get in on" a crime he was committing. He then decided to pay me back, because he was paranoid he would be investigated. Never could I have dreamed it would come full circle to my family, and that he was stealing their life savings and that of their friends. It's been surreal, that's for sure, but we will all survive and he will be locked away. THANK YOU GOD.