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Fair Finance trustee sues Indy attorney for $375,000

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The bankruptcy trustee for Fair Finance Co. has filed a lawsuit against Indianapolis attorney Stephen Plopper and his wife, saying they defaulted on a 2003 loan from the defunct Tim Durham-owned business and now owe $375,000.

The loan to Stephen and Linda Plopper matured in 2006, but the couple has failed to satisfy the debt, despite recent demands for payment, according to the suit filed Friday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Akron, Ohio.

Stephen Plopper served as secretary of Fair Holdings, parent of the Akron-based finance firm. He formerly operated his law practice out of the top floor of the Chase Tower in downtown Indianapolis, sharing space with Durham. The Ploppers' home at 1205 E. 126th St. in Carmel serves as collateral on the loan, according to the suit.

Plopper, who could not be reached for comment, is among more than a dozen Durham associates who received loans from Fair after Durham and fellow Indianapolis businessman Jim Cochran bought the business in 2002.

Bankruptcy trustee Brian Bash alleges that insider loans taken out by Durham, Cochran, and their business associates “utterly looted” the business, leaving it unable to repay more than 5,000 Ohio residents who purchased unsecured investment certificates. The company owes the investors more than $200 million.

Last month, the trustee sued Durham's sister, Dana Osler, and her husband, Jeffrey Osler, charging they defaulted on a company loan and now owe $1.2 million. Jeffrey Osler served as executive vice president and a board member of Obsidian Enterprises Inc., Durham’s Indianapolis-based buyout company.

Fair hasn’t reopened since the FBI raided its offices in November 2009. The raid came about a month after an IBJ investigative story highlighted the insider loans and raised questions about whether the firm had the means to repay holders of investment certificates.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office is conducting a criminal investigation of the company’s collapse. Durham has acknowledged that he owes Fair millions but has denied breaking the law. He noted that the offering circulars provided to prospective investors detailed the insider loans and highlighted other risks.

This article originally ran in the Feb. 15 issue of IBJ Daily.
 

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  1. I need an experienced attorney to handle a breach of contract matter. Kindly respond for more details. Graham Young

  2. I thought the slurs were the least grave aspects of her misconduct, since they had nothing to do with her being on the bench. Why then do I suspect they were the focus? I find this a troubling trend. At least she was allowed to keep her law license.

  3. Section 6 of Article I of the Indiana Constitution is pretty clear and unequivocal: "Section 6. No money shall be drawn from the treasury for the benefit of any religious or theological institution."

  4. Video pen? Nice work, "JW"! Let this be a lesson and a caution to all disgruntled ex-spouses (or soon-to-be ex-spouses) . . . you may think that altercation is going to get you some satisfaction . . . it will not.

  5. First comment on this thread is a fitting final comment on this thread, as that the MCBA never answered Duncan's fine question, and now even Eric Holder agrees that the MCBA was in material error as to the facts: "I don't get it" from Duncan December 1, 2014 5:10 PM "The Grand Jury met for 25 days and heard 70 hours of testimony according to this article and they made a decision that no crime occurred. On what basis does the MCBA conclude that their decision was "unjust"? What special knowledge or evidence does the MCBA have that the Grand Jury hearing this matter was unaware of? The system that we as lawyers are sworn to uphold made a decision that there was insufficient proof that officer committed a crime. How can any of us say we know better what was right than the jury that actually heard all of the the evidence in this case."

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