INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis financier convicted of wire fraud, securities fraud and conspiracy is hoping to convince a judge to release him from federal prison early.
Tim Durham, nicknamed the Madoff of the Midwest, was sentenced to 50 years in prison in 2012 after a jury found him guilty of scamming investors out of more than $200 million in a Ponzi scheme.
Durham and his business partner, Jim Cochran, used money invested into their company, Fair Finance, to fund a lavish lifestyle that included pricy homes, luxury cars and expensive parties. Prosecutors said Durham’s other business partner Rick Snow helped cover their trail.
Durham claims his legal team failed him in during his 2012 trial and didn’t do a good enough job of defending him, failing to investigate or subpoena necessary witnesses among other grounds.
While he was originally convicted on 12 counts, two counts of wire fraud were overturned in 2014 because the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago failed to enter key documentary evidence into the trial record.
Durham will represent himself during a four-day trial that begins Tuesday.
Durham’s co-conspirators Cochran and Snow received sentences of 25 years and 10 years, respectively.