The thousands of holders of Fair Finance Co. investment certificates now have an official Web site to go to for information.
No, it's not operated by the Akron company, which remains closed since FBI raids on Nov. 24 showed federal investigators suspect Fair Finance was being run as a Ponzi scheme.
Instead, this Web site is from the trustee appointed to oversee Fair Finance through federal bankruptcy proceedings.
The trustee, Cleveland lawyer Brian Bash, on Friday filed ''status report'' paperwork in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Akron that announced the creation of a Web site, which can be accessed by going to either http://www.kccllc.net/fairfinance or http://www.fairfinancetrustee.com.
The new site includes a message from Bash updating people on where the proceedings stand and upcoming steps in the bankruptcy process.
There are also links to all of the court documents filed since Fair Finance was forced into Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings last month.
Bash said Fair Finance investors should check the Web site periodically to get information.
''I feel for these investors,'' he said. ''I probably have returned 100 calls.'' He said he likely had another 30 people that he needed to call back.
Green lawyer David Mucklow persuaded about 100 holders of Fair Finance investment certificates to put the company into involuntary bankruptcy as a way to protect the firm's assets in hope that the certificate holders can get their money back. Ohio residents might have bought as much as $200 million in certificates that were not government insured from Fair Finance.
In his status report filed Friday with bankruptcy court, Bash also showed:
• Howard L. Klein Co. was hired as a forensic accountant, court approval pending.
• Medina-based Vestige Digital Investigations was hired to do computer forensics of Fair Finance's digital records, also pending court approval. Bash decided to hire Vestige in part ''due to the allegations of widespread fraud among related entities,'' court documents show.
• Clerical and administrative personnel were hired, pending court approval.
In his ''Trustee's Message'' on the Web site, Bash said: ''We have been investigating the Debtor's [Fair Finance] assets and financial affairs. The trustee has received many inquiries regarding the ability to recover funds or other property that may have been transferred out of the [Fair Finance] estate.''
The trustee can recover those transfers, he wrote.
Fair Finance, established in 1934 in Akron by the Fair family, was sold in 2002 to two Indiana businessmen, Timothy Durham and James Cochran.
In the March 12 status report to the court, Bash wrote that he is monitoring and reviewing issues revolving around the pending dissolution proceedings of Texas-based company CLST, which is affiliated with Fair Finance.
Near-term key issues Bash said he will focus on include finalizing schedules of assets and liabilities and statements of financial affairs; retaining special litigation counsel to pursue claims; identifying assets available for immediate sale, and more.
A hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Akron.
Bash said Monday's hearing is primarily ''a housekeeping matter'' intended to update the court on where things stand and will not involve any of the parties making motions. Another attorney who plans to attend said the hearing ''is not a big event'' and likely will last an hour.
Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or firstname.lastname@example.org.