On Tuesday, the FBI raided the Indianapolis office of Tim Durham, the leveraged buy-out and turn-around specialist who leads his firm Obsidian Enterprises.
Indystar: …the action brought new notoriety to a flamboyant lawyer who has owned posh homes in Miami and Los Angeles and moves at the top of Republican political circles in Indianapolis.
No reason has been disclosed by the authorities for the raid.
Embarrassingly, Durham was profiled glowingly by CNBC last summer in a series about the amazing lifestyles of millionaries.
That calls to mind CNBC’s fawning interview with Allen Stanford, before he got busted.
And there are some similarities, between Durham and the Stanford case.
Indiana Business Journals: The FBI action occurred the same day a 16-month-old securities registration that permitted Fair to sell investment certificates expired. An IBJ story last month raised questions about whether Fair, a consumer finance company, had the financial wherewithal to repay investors, who are owed about $200 million.
The investments paid substantially more than certificates of deposit, but unlike CDs they are not guaranteed by the government. The securities were sold only to Ohio residents, many of whom have only modest incomes.
Meanwhile, Durham has had other past connections that raise red flags.
For example, he has also been involved in the past with the now-indicted Daniel Laikin, both in the company National Lampoon, and also in a trade involving cell-phone distributor Brightpoint.
Indystar: Late in 2005, Durham quickly added to his own fortune by buying and then selling stock in local cell-phone distributor Brightpoint
Durham had bought about 430,000 shares of stock in Brightpoint at an average price of $1.50 per share. He made millions when the group of investors he led sold the shares they had held three years at a big profit. Brightpoint is run by Daniel Laikin’s brother, Robert.
By 2006, Durham was regarded as a wealthy insider in Republican circles, but his flashy style and bawdy parties sometimes raised eyebrows.
Durham’s page on MySpace, a social networking site, revealed an R-rated pajama party in 2007. The page showed two naked women kissing and reported that Penthouse magazine model Martina Warren was in attendance.