The Akron headquarters of Fair Finance Co. remained closed this morning after the beleaguered business on Friday said it was getting back most of its computers confiscated in an FBI raid last month.
Meanwhile, at least one Ohio resident who bought investment certificates from Fair said she recently was asked by federal officials to fill out a lengthy questionnaire as part of an ongoing investigation into the company.
Also, the Ohio Division of Securities granted Fair's request on Friday for a 30-day extension to respond to a lengthy information request on the proposal to sell up to $250 million in new investment certificates.
At least one investor received a letter from the U.S. attorney's office for the southern district of Indiana and from the FBI, saying Fair was being investigated and requesting she fill out several pages about the investment.
The woman, who declined to give her name because she said the money invested at Fair was an inheritance that might be disputed, said she was set to pick up a check from Fair in late November for her relative's $17,000. But she found Fair's offices closed.
The FBI raided the headquarters on Nov. 24, two days before Thanksgiving.
Subsequent letters posted at the headquarters and satellite offices said Fair Finance offices were closed because of ''unforeseen circumstances.''
The money was supposed to be used to help bury her relative and pass on some money for her, the investor said. Instead, the woman said she had to give a down payment for her relative's funeral and owes the funeral home $4,000 that she was hoping will come from the Fair investment.
''I have called them to tell them the money is tied up in Fair,'' she said.
Ohio securities division spokesman Dennis Ginty said the state granted Fair an extension to respond to its questions with the understanding that Fair must provide the division with any documentation it receives from the FBI that is applicable to its request within five business days.
The company had said in a news release Friday that it hoped to restart its accounts receivables billing and collection business but did not know when or where it would reopen. The company also said last week it does not know when or if it will be able to resume selling and redeeming investment certificates.
According to court documents and Fair Finance's circulars, Ohio investors might have as much as $200 million in outstanding investment certificates with the company, which also does business as Fair Financial Group. The certificates are not government-insured.
This morning, the main entrance sign at the 815 E. Market St. headquarters continued to be marked ''UnFair'' Finance — which had been scrawled on the sign last week. Several parking signs behind the building remained similarly marked.
Federal investigators have shown in court records that they suspected Fair Finance, sold in 2002 to Indiana businessman Tim Durham and partner James Cochran, was being run as a Ponzi scheme. No one has been charged or arrested as part of what the U.S. Attorney says is a continuing investigation.
Fair Finance offices have remained closed after being shut for all of Thanksgiving week.
Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or firstname.lastname@example.org.