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Attorney General agrees to return Durham campaign funds

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Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has agreed to return $11,000 in campaign contributions from indicted financier Tim Durham.

Fair Finance bankruptcy trustee Brian A. Bash submitted the settlement on Wednesday for court approval.

Bash is attempting to recover some of the more than $200 million Fair Finance owes to 5,200 Ohio investors.

Akron, Ohio-based Fair Finance Co. had been run by Durham as part of what law enforcement officials have called the largest corporate fraud case in Indiana history. Durham and two partners were arrested in March and charged with 12 felony counts.

In August 2010, when the FBI was still investigating Durham’s business dealings, Zoeller said his campaign treasurer, attorney Andrew Buroker, created a segregated account for the $11,000.

“Like many of the others that have settled, we had a relatively small amount,” Buroker told the Indianapolis Business Journal Thursday morning. “It was a cost-benefit decision to settle it very simply and very inexpensively rather than going into court and litigating it.”

The trustee’s settlement with Zoeller follows agreements he reached Sept. 12 with three local political groups. The settlements with the Marion County Republican Central Committee, Greater Indianapolis Republican Finance Committee and the Committee to Elect Lawrence Mayor Paul Ricketts total more than $60,000.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi have not returned campaign contributions from Durham that they say have already been spent.

Daniels and Brizzi each received about $200,000 from Durham.

David Proano, an attorney for Bash, said earlier this month that the trustee is discussing a settlement with Daniels and Brizzi.

This story originally ran on IBJ.com Sept. 22. The Indianapolis Business Journal is a sister publication of Indiana Lawyer.

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