Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Former Durham Business Partners Agree To Repay Fair Finance Trustee $400,000

Several prominent businessmen who were once partners with convicted Ponzi schemer Tim Durham have agreed to repay $400,000 to the Fair Finance Trustee from funds they were paid by Durham's Obsidian Enterprises shortly before the colossal failure of the parent company's subsidiary, Fair Finance, that resulted in the loss of more than $200 million invested by small investors in rural Ohio. According to court filings made by the company's bankruptcy trustee, Brian Williams, Fred Klipsch, Robert Kaspar, Michael Miles and their business partnerships, 77th Street Partners, G&S Venture Partners and Oberoi Partners, LP have collectively agreed to the payment of the $400,000 from the $580,000 in payouts Durham made to them in the 2008-09 period shortly before the collapse of Fair Finance to settle legal disputes with them.

According to the court filing, Obsidian Capital Partners, LP ("OCP") was the majority owner of Obsidian Enterprises. Brian Williams owned an ownership interest in OCP as the general partner.  G&S Venture Partners, 77th Street Partners, Fred Klipsch, Robert Kaspar, Michael Miles and Oberoi Partners owned limited partnerships in OCP. Durham bought out their respective interests in the parent company to resolve ongoing litigation initiated against him by his business partners. The parties each agreed to repay the following sums to the trustee:
  • 77th Street Partners ($62,169.53);
  • Brian Williams ($41,589.38);
  • Fred Klipsch ($42,681.05);
  • G&S Venture Partners ($83,137.93);
  • Oberoi Partners LP ($60,324.24);
  • Robert Kaspar ($56,611.73); and
  • Michael Miles ($53,486.13).
The trustee contended that their interests in the company, which we now know was nothing more than your garden variety Ponzi scheme, had no value at the time of the transfer of money, and that they did not act in good faith with regard to the transfers. It would have been nice if they had become whistle blowers in the interest of protecting those who were defrauded of their life savings rather than using the leverage of litigation as a means of extracting money from Durham. The bankruptcy trustee has still managed to collect only pennies on the dollar of the amount lost by investors, most of which will be paid out to cover the trustee's fees and expenses.

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