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Donald Russell says he and his mother both invested money into Fair Finance. (WIBC.com photo: Mike Corbin)
An Ohio man says Indianapolis businessman Tim Durham used his money and the funds of other investors as his personal "piggy bank."
Donald Russell testified at Durham's federal trial Tuesday. He says he invested $350,000 and his mother put another $125,000 into Fair Finance. The retired police officer says he started investing in the Akron, Ohio-based company back in 1991. He says he invested in the firm based upon its reputation which dated back to the 1930s. He says his own father held the firm in high esteem.
Russell testified that he didn't know that Durham took over Fair Finance in 2002. He says he noticed something strange in 2009, when his $2500 monthly interest check on his investment wasn't on time. He says he spoke with one of Durham's partner's James Cochran on the phone. He says Cochran tried to assure him that everything was okay and Russell did receive the check shortly after speaking with Cochran. However, Russell said he remained uneasy about Fair Finance. On November 23rd of that year, he heard about the federal raid on the firm.
Russell says his mom died at 82 one month after the raid. He says she worried and suffered as a result of their financial loss and and he partly blames her death on Durham. Russell says he was especially upset to hear in court that Durham had a personal loan account of $20 million through Fair Finance. Russell believes Durham deserves jail time.
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