Thursday, September 04, 2014
Seventh Circuit Upholds Tim Durham's Convictions
Convicted Ponzi schemer Tim Durham came up short in an appeal he and his two partners in crime, James Cochran and Rick Snow, took to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in an attempt to overturn their convictions for defrauding investors of Fair Finance out of more than $200 million. Durham was able to convince the Court to reverse two of his ten wire fraud convictions based on a lack of evidence in the record to support the two convictions, but he lost other challenges, including the wire taps the FBI made of his phone conversations prior to being charged, prosecutorial misconduct, faulty jury instructions and unfair sentencing. The sentencing trial court of Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson has been directed to re-sentence Durham based upon eight wire fraud counts instead of the ten his 50-year sentence is based upon. His two other convictions for securities fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud were also affirmed. According to the government lawyers, Judge Diane Sykes wrote in her opinion that the prosecution inadvertently failed to admit evidence it intended to offer in support of those two counts at trial. It is unlikely the two reversals will lessen Durham's harsh sentence given the gravity of the other ten convictions the appellate court allowed to stand in today's ruling.