For the past week, prosecutors have been forming a strong case against Fair Finance businessmen Tim Durham, Rick D. Snow, and James F. Cochran. The three have been accused of stealing roughly $200 million from investors, and so far they have been charged with securities fraud, wire fraud and the conspiracy to commit both. If the three are found guilty, they could potentially be fined thousands of dollars and spend decades in prison.
So far, the evidence offered by the prosecution has been strong. Accounts from forensic accountants show that company money has been used to pay for vacations to luxury resorts and casinos, expensive cars, and even a large Playboy party. A statement from the original owner of Fair Finance claims that the company has, since his departure, issued extensive loans to the three businessmen and their other companies using investors’ money. Furthermore, the defendants’ excuses for why they could not pay their investors (e.g. computer glitches) have been proven false. As a final blow to the jurors’ consciences, investors have given testimonies about losing their entire life’s savings. As of June 15, 2012, the time Carrie Ritchie’s article was written, the prosecution was planning to call two more witnesses.
The defense is currently planning their response, though their chances look bleak. Tompkins, Durham’s attorney, says that he will focus solely on why Durham is innocent, and the other two’s attorneys declined an interview. As of June 15, the defense is unsure as to whether or not the three businessmen will take the stand.