Tim Durham Trial Getting Underway
Tim Durham (WIBC.com file photo)
Opening arguments getting underway this morning in the federal trial of Indianapolis businessman Tim Durham.
The trial is expected to last up to three weeks with some 49 witnesses set to testify. Durham's attorney John Tompkins says they're waiting for the prosecution to rest before determining whether Durham himself will take the stand. The 16-member jury seated late Friday includes four alternates and seven women.
On Friday, potential jurors heard lengthy prosecution readings of the charges against Durham. Durham and partners James Cochran and Rick Snow are charged with conspiracy and wire fraud and securities fraud. They were all present in the court of U.S. District Court Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson and will continue to be throughout the trial. Prosecutors say Durham and partners bilked 5,000 mostly elderly investors out of more than $200 million.
They say Durham lent money intended for private investments to family and friends and used it to fuel a lavish lifestyle. They say Durham and Cochran systematically lied and covered up the loan and financial losses of their firm, Fair Financial Co. Tompkins continues to object over the admitting of wiretaps of telephone conversations between Durham and Cochran. Prosecutors say the conversations reveal the two plotting about lying to investors and securities officials. However, Tompkins says the charges are without merit and he intends to prove it to jurors. The trial is set to get underway at around 8:30 am. Testimony is expected to begin late Monday morning.