Grand Theft Auto

The Fort Wayne News-Sentinel has another great little snippet to add to Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi’s best buddy, finance director and Ponzi schemer Tim Durham’s rap sheet: Grand Theft Auto!

In a piece entitled “Whose Duesey -and whose fault – are questions for court now” Ellie Bogue reports:

What should have been the purchase of a 1930 Duesenberg turned into a doozy of a headache for James F. Scott.

Scott bought a 1930 Duesenberg automobile during a fundraiser for the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum September 3. A Virginia resident, Scott was present at the auction by phone. After paying the sellers $2.9 million, Scott never received the car’s title.

It turned out Diamond Inc., run by Indianapolis businessman Tim Durham, put the car up for sale but didn’t have possession of the title. Webster Business Credit Corp., an assets-based lending company, holds the title to the vehicle. In addition, Durham is under investigation by the FBI for an alleged ponzi scheme.

Indiana Business Journal reported FBI agents in a Nov. 24 raid searched Durham’s Indianapolis office and Fair Finances Headquarters, removing documents and computers. Durham’s other business, Obsidian Enterprises, was also searched. The alleged ponzi scheme under investigation may have defrauded Ohio investors of millions of dollars.

The museum has yet to resolve the civil suit filed December 10 by Scott. Among other general allegations, Scott claims that after the bidding reached $850,000, Hyman – one of the sellers – was the only bidder to continue bidding against Scott until the price reached $2.9 million. “No notice was provided to prospective bidders that sellers reserved the right to bid on the Automobile or that they were in fact bidding on the automobile,” Scott’s lawsuit said.

Scott’s civil suit asks for $3.1 million, rights to the car plus interest and alleges fraud, criminal conversion, and negligence involving 11 parties: Tim Durham, Diamond Investments LLC, Diamond Investments Inc., Hyman Ltd Classic Cars, Mark Hyman, Donald D. Lyons, Joan L Lyons, Donald Lyons family Trust, Kruse Inc. (which conducted the auction), Auburn Automotive Heritage Inc. and Webster Business Credit Corporation.

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