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Fair Finance trustee to settle dispute with data company

By Jim Mackinnon
Beacon Journal business writer

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The trustee for bankrupt Fair Finance Co. in Akron has agreed to pay $92,500 to settle a dispute with a litigation data service company.

The dispute is included in a monthly status report filed with U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The regular monthly status hearing in the years-long Fair Finance financial scandal and bankruptcy case is at 9:30 a.m. today in the federal building in downtown Akron.

Trustee Brian Bash said Computer Discovery Source Inc. said it was owed $232,982 for services through July 31. The New York-based firm manages an online “data room” in the Fair Finance case that includes records and millions of pages of documents, the trustee said. Bash said he has agreed to pay $92,500 to settle the dispute.

The report also shows that the trustee collected $178,477 since the last status conference in September. The Fair Finance Co. money market fund holds $6,533,948 as of Oct. 18.

So far, none of the creditors bilked out of more than $200 million in the Fair Finance scandal has received a distribution.

Bash said he has obtained a total of nearly $334.8 million in default judgments and continues to focus collection efforts on the eight largest outstanding judgements totalling $184.1 million.

The trustee said he has obtained 10,892,646 shares of stock owned by former Fair Finance owner Timothy Durham and others. He did not identify the shares or state a value for them.

Durham, co-owner James Cochran and former company executive Rick Snow were convicted last year in federal court in Indianapolis on numerous charges of bilking about 5,300 Ohio residents.

In 2002, Indiana businessmen Durham and Cochran bought Fair Finance, a long-established consumer loan and accounts receivables company. Bash, along with federal investigators, said Durham and Cochran subsequently operated Fair Finance as a Ponzi scheme.

Durham is serving a 50-year term in federal prison in Pine Knot, Ky. Cochran, who received a 25-year term, is in a federal prison in Greenville, Ill. Snow received a 10-year prison term. The three men are appealing their convictions. Snow is at a federal facility in Pekin, Ill.

FBI raids in November 2009 forced the closure of Fair Finance, which began operation in 1934. Fair Finance was forced into bankruptcy in February 2010.

Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or jmackinnon@thebeaconjournal.com.


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