Friday, April 29, 2011

Fair Finance Trustee Files Suit Against GIRFCO To Recover Durham Contributions

The bankruptcy trustee for Fair Finance Company has filed a lawsuit against the Greater Indianapolis Republican Finance Committee seeking recovery of more than $52,000 in contributions indicted Ponzi scheme operator Tim Durham made to the political campaign committee. In a letter dated April 13, 2011 to Paul Okeson, GIRFCO treasurer and former Chief of Staff to Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, the bankruptcy trustee noted he had sent a demand letter to the organization last June to which there had been no response. The trustee gave Okeson until April 25, 2011 to respond to the trustee's demand for a return of the campaign contributions but received no response. On April 27, the trustee filed suit against GIRFCO alleging the contributions were fraudulent transfers because Fair Finance was effectively insolvent at the time Durham made the contributions to the campaign committee. The timing of the lawsuit is inopportune for Marion Co. Republicans, who are struggling to raise money to maintain the mayor's office and Republican control of the City-County Council in this election year.

UPDATE: Ed Feigenbaum's Indiana Legislative Insight reports five separate lawsuits were filed, including the following: GIRFCO ($52,943); Marion Co. Republican Party ($5,000); Committee To Elect Paul Ricketts ($40,000); House Republican Campaign Committee ($58,580); and Committee To Elect Brian Bosma ($5,000).

UPDATE II: WRTV's Rafael Sanchez is reporting the suit against Bosma's committee has been dropped after he agreed to return $10,000. Negotiations between the bankruptcy trustee and the campaign committees of Gov. Mitch Daniels, Attorney General Greg Zoeller and former Marion Co. Prosecutor Carl Brizzi are ongoing Sanchez says.


M Theory said...

GIRFCO should also have to pay attorney fees spent in order to collect the money.

Do you know if the law would allow that?

Paul K. Ogden said...

Generally not, HFFT. But they'd have to pay their own attorney and that's enough.. You know GIRFCO will hire some big law firm that will bill so much it would be cheaper to pay the $500K or so back.