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FBI collects financier’s cars

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Friday, July 2, 2010
Posted: 11 am ET

Have you heard about the Indianapolis businessman who surrendered his luxury car collection as a means of paying off investors who lost money in his finance company?

Tim Durham and his former car collection

Tim Durham poses with his former car collection.

Tim Durham, owner of Fair Finance Co., has not been charged with a crime, but U.S. District Attorney Tim Morrison in Indianapolis alleges he's involved in a Ponzi scheme that defrauded Ohio investors out of $200 million. The investors purchased investment certificates with interest rates as high as 9.5 percent, according to The Indianapolis Business Journal. His offices in Indianapolis were raided by the FBI last November. Durham admits he owes money to Fair Finance, which regulators say he treated as a personal bank, but insists he is not guilty of a crime.

Durham, who owns mansions in a wealthy area of Indianapolis and in Los Angeles, surrendered millions of dollars worth of cars, including a Bentley, Ferrari, DeLorean, Lamborghini, Lotus and Auburn Speedster. His Indianapolis-area home (with a 30-car garage) is on the market for $5.5 million. In total, 27 cars have been taken by the FBI, according to an article in The Indianapolis Star. All will be sold by a bankruptcy trustee.

To call Durham a car buff is almost like calling Michael Jordan a basketball player. A two-year-old article, "The Rise of the Super Rich" on CNBC, says the then-45-year-old financier has "a major weakness for cars," and owns almost 70 of them. This week, Indiana television viewers were treated to a peek at 18 of the collectibles as they were loaded by the FBI onto trucks in front of cameras.

What do you think of the actions of Durham and the FBI?

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