Monday, November 26, 2012
Durham's Attorney Seeks 5-Year Sentence
Not surprisingly, the attorney for convicted Ponzi schemer Tim Durham would like Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson to mete out a much lighter sentence than the 225-year prison sentence recommended in a federal sentencing report. A sentencing hearing has been scheduled this Friday in Judge Magnus-Stinson's court for Durham and two business associates convicted along with him, James Cochran and Rick Snow. Durham's attorney, John Tompkins, is seeking a three-year prison sentence, followed by two years of home confinement. "There is no need to incapacitate Mr. Durham beyond [five years] to prevent him from committing further crimes, given his extraordinarily low risk of recidivism, or to deter others from similar conduct," the filing said. “In this case, there is absolutely zero evidence that Mr. Durham subjectively intended any investor to experience a loss, and that’s what the law requires if ‘intended loss’ is to be used for the sentencing calculation,” Tompkins said. I'm guessing that the thousands of small Ohio investors in Fair Finance who collectively lost more than $200 million would take issue with Tompkins' characterization of his client's intent. My prediction is that Judge Magnus-Stinson will sentence Durham to a 30-year prison sentence, a sentence he should be happy to receive given the unusually lengthy sentences a number of other federal court judges have meted out in recent years to high-profile Ponzi schemers.