Tim Durham (WIBC.com file photo)
A jury has been seated in the Tim Durham trial.
The 16-member jury will get preliminary instructions and hear opening arguments Monday morning. The jury includes four alternates and seven women. On Friday, potential jurors heard lengthy prosecution readings of the charges against Durham. He along with 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. However, Durhams's attorney John Tompkins says the charges are without merit and he intends to prove it to jurors.
The trial is set to get underway Monday morning around 8:30 am. Testimony is expected to begin late Monday morning. Tompkins says they'll wait until after prosecutors rest to determine whether Durham himself will take the stand. The trial is expected to last up to three weeks with some 49 witnesses.