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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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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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