Huge Republican Donor and Brizzi Crony Tim “D-Bag” Durham Under FBI/SEC Investigation

Lets start of by reminding everyone that the subject of this piece donated more than $150,000 to Carl Brizzi’s campaign for Marion County Prosecutor. We just wanted to get that out of the way before we continue.

First, The Indianapolis Business Journal reported of Tim Durham’s shady misuse of his Akron, Ohio-based acquisition Fair Finance Co. in late October. Then today, The Indianapolis Star announced an FBI raid of Durham’s Obsidian Enterprises Inc., which is a great name for a shady business, at 2PM today.

Tim Durham: His Friends Call Him "D-Bag"

Now, IBJ.com reports:

Ohio securities regulators say Tim Durham’s Fair Finance Co. won’t be permitted to sell additional investment certificates unless it satisfactorily answers a series of questions about the company’s ability to pay them back.

The FBI on Tuesday afternoon executed search warrants at Akron-based Fair and at Obsidian Enterprises Inc., Durham’s Indianapolis-based leveraged-buyout firm. FBI trucks late this afternoon were positioned on Monument Circle in Indianapolis as agents waited for boxes to be carried down from Obsidian’s headquarters atop Chase Tower.

The FBI action occurred the same day a 16-month-old securities registration that permitted Fair to sell investment certificates expired. An IBJ story last month raised questions about whether Fair, a consumer finance company, had the financial wherewithal to repay investors, who are owed about $200 million.

The investments paid substantially more than certificates of deposit, but unlike CDs they are not guaranteed by the government. The securities were sold only to Ohio residents, many of whom have only modest incomes.

Michael S. Welch, FBI special agent in charge in Indianapolis, said the search warrants executed Tuesday are sealed and that the FBI would not comment further.

IBJ’s story last month reported that since Durham, 47, bought Fair in 2002, he had used it almost like a personal bank to fund a range of business interests, some of them unsuccessful. The story noted that he and related parties owe Fair more than $168 million.

Dennis Ginty, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Commerce, said Fair late last month filed papers seeking to register to sell additional investments certificates, but regulators told the company that it had to answer a series of questions before they would make a decision. Answers arrived today, Ginty said, and officials were beginning to go through them.

The whereabouts of Durham, 47, were not clear Tuesday. He did not respond to e-mail and voice mail messages.

Our friend Terry Burns at The Indianapolis Times has been looking at Durham through the prism of his long-term campaign donor relationship with Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi for quite a while now.

Even Republican blog Advance Indiana has sais the following:

Politicians of all stripes have used Durham for political fundraising. He gave about $150,000 to Marion Co. Prosecutor Carl Brizzi’s last re-election campaign. Brizzi reportedly lived in Durham’s home for a period recently when he was going through his divorce. “My decorator can do a lot with an unlimited budget,” Durham said during a CNBC show profiling his home and his success.

Wanted to get that $150,000 in donations to Carl Brizzi in front of you again. But a quick look at Huffington Post’s Fundrace 08 site shows some other Durham contributions:

Updated
Q2/2007
$12,500
Fortville IN
Donation to Indiana Republican State Committee Inc.

Timothy Durham
Donation of $2,300 to Presidential elections 2008

Republican

Updated
Q1/2007
Rudy Giuliani
$2,300

Timothy S. Durham
Donation of $2,300 to Jonelrod.com
Updated
Q1/2008
$2,300
Donation to Jonelrod.com

Timothy Durham
Donation of $250 to Indiana Republican State
Committee Inc.
Updated
Q2/2007
$250
Fortville IN
Donation to Indiana Republican State Committee Inc.

TIMOTHY DURHAM
Donation of $2,000 to Presidential elections 2004

Republican

Updated
Q1/2004
George W. Bush
$2,000
His report on www.campaignfinance.in.gov reads as follows:
DW Leasing Co., LLC Tim Durham Other Organizations – Direct
111 Monument Cir, Ste 382 $2,500.00 on 3/7/2000 to
Indianapolis, IN 46204 Hoosiers for McIntosh
Tim Durham Obsidian Corporations – In-Kind :fundraiser tg. site
111 Monument Circle, Suite 4800 $1,174.00 on 10/1/2008 to
Indianapolis, IN 46204 BEVERLY GARD FOR STATE SENATE COMMITTEE
Interestingly it also shows some contributions from a Fair Holdings Inc. which is a name issued by the SEC to Obsidian has contributed as follows:
Fair Holdings, Inc. Corporations – Direct
111 Monument Circle, Ste 3680 $1,000.00 on 10/31/2002 to
Indianapolis, IN 46204-5175 MARION COUNTY REPUBLICAN CENTRAL COMMITTEE
Fair Holdings, Inc. Corporations – Direct
111 Monument Circle, Ste 3680 $1,000.00 on 10/31/2002 to
Indianapolis, IN 46204-5175 MARION COUNTY REPUBLICAN CENTRAL COMMITTEE
Obsidian [A] Corporations – Direct
111 Monument Circle, Ste. 4800 $1,174.00 on 10/1/2008 to
Indianapolis, IN 46204 BEVERLY GARD FOR STATE SENATE COMMITTEE
Obsidian Conference & Catering Center Corporations – Misc
111 Monument Circle Suite 4800 $5,280.00 on 1/23/2008 to
Indianapolis, IN 46204 GREATER INDIANAPOLIS REPUBLICAN FINANCE COMMITTEE
Obsidian Conference & Catering Center Corporations – In-Kind :Room Rental Fee
111 Monument Circle Suite 4800 $1,225.00 on 5/23/2006 to
Indianapolis, IN 46204 Indiana Republican State Committee, Inc
Obsidian Enterprises Corporations – Direct
111 Monument Circle Suite 3680 $1,918.00 on 8/5/2008 to
Indianapolis, IN 46204 GREATER INDIANAPOLIS REPUBLICAN FINANCE COMMITTEE
Obsidian Enterprises, Inc Corporations – Direct
111 Monument Circle, Suite 4800 $5,000.00 on 10/10/2002 to
Indianapolis, IN 46204-4046 Indiana Republican State Committee, Inc
Obsidian Enterprises, Inc Corporations – Direct
111 Monument Circle, Suite 4800 $5,000.00 on 10/10/2002 to
Indianapolis, IN 46204-4046 Indiana Republican State Committee, Inc
Tim Durham Obsidian Corporations – In-Kind :fundraiser tg. site
111 Monument Circle, Suite 4800 $1,174.00 on 10/1/2008 to
Indianapolis, IN 46204 BEVERLY GARD FOR STATE SENATE COMMITTEE
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