So, 10 or 11 years ago, there was an especially showy Indianapolis business guy by the name of Tim Durham with connections to folks like Burt Servaas and Carl Brizzi. In a story reminiscent of the movie “Wall Street,” Durham bought a long-established company called “Fair Finance” that had been a going concern since the 30s and used it as a personal piggy bank. Investors and depositors in Fair Finance lost about $200 million. Greg Andrews, writing for the IBJ, reports that the bankruptcy trustee has been trying to get some of that money back from various sources but has suffered a major set back after a jury trial against a company called Textron who provided financing to Fair. I couldn’t quite make out the exact legal claims from the article (maybe I didn’t read closely enough), but I gather that Textron got a lot of its money back in one way or another while ordinary investors got stiffed. The bankruptcy trustee was likely trying to claw that money back from Textron to distribute to the regular investors. The trial hinged on whether the debt owed to Textron was secured or unsecured. The jury apparently decided it was secured and the bankruptcy trustee won’t recover those funds.
To date, the bankruptcy trustee has recovered something like $0.11 on the dollar for Durham’s victims. Durham was convicted in 2012 and currently has an earliest possible release date of 2056. (That assumes Trump doesn’t pardon him.)