INDIANAPOLIS — A federal appeals court has rejected a former Indianapolis businessman's bid to shorten his 50-year sentence for defrauding thousands of investors of $200 million to finance a lavish lifestyle.
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago affirmed Tim Durham's sentence on Wednesday. The court said it had already rejected Durham's earlier challenge to a calculation of losses that factored in his sentence and ruled he therefore could not revisit that issue. "That determination is conclusive," the court wrote.
Durham's attorney, Julianne Cartmel, did not immediately return messages Thursday seeking comment.
Durham, 53, was convicted in 2012 of securities fraud, conspiracy and 10 counts of wire fraud for operating a Ponzi scheme that defrauded thousands of investors in his Akron, Ohio-based company, Fair Finance. He was sentenced to 50 years in federal prison.
After the 7th Circuit overturned two of Durham's wire fraud counts in September 2014, a federal judge re-imposed Durham's original 50-year sentence. That judge told Durham she did not find any basis to alter the court's sentence calculation because of the number of victims and the pain his scheme caused.
Durham appealed again, seeking to revisit the loss-amount calculation and requesting a second resentencing. The 7th Circuit rejected both of his arguments.
Two of Durham's associates, James Cochran and Rick Snow, were also convicted in 2012 of bilking Fair Finance out of its assets and defrauding its investors. Cochran was sentenced to 25 years in prison, and Snow to 10.
More than 5,000 Ohio residents purchased unsecured investment certificates from Fair Finance touting high interest rates. Prosecutors said Durham used that money to prop up other failing businesses and finance a lavish lifestyle that included buying mansions, classic cars and other luxury items.