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Indianapolis accounting firm settles with Fair Finance trustee

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Somerset CPAs P.C. will pay $500,000 to settle litigation brought by the bankruptcy trustee of Fair Finance Co., the Ohio-based firm convicted financier Tim Durham used to conduct a major Ponzi scheme.

Trustee Brian Bash alleged that Indianapolis-based Somerset received $760,454.90 in fraudulent transfers while working for Durham’s related companies. In a bankruptcy-court motion filed Wednesday, Bash said he was willing to accept the $500,000 to avoid expensive litigation over the complex case.

Somerset President Pat Early was traveling and unavailable for comment Thursday morning.

Bash’s claim involved dozens of transfers through 11 entities, including Fair Holdings, DC Investments and Obsidian Enterprises. In reality, Bash alleged, all of the payments to Somerset came from Fair Finance through a series of loan transactions. He alleged that Fair Finance had received no value for the fees because the related entities were insolvent.

Somerset disputed its liability and some of the factual allegations of the trustee’s claims, Bash noted. The firm admits no responsibility under the settlement.

The firm has already placed the $500,000 in a trust account for release upon the judge’s approval, it said.

Somerset is the seventh-largest accounting firm in the Indianapolis area with 56 CPAs, according to IBJ research.

Durham, the financial fraudster convicted in June, switched accounting firms in 2005 after he couldn’t get a clean audit. His former accounting firm, BGBC, told him it couldn’t issue an unqualified audit report for 2003 or 2004 because Fair’s “conduct indicated it was not being run for its own benefit.”

Somerset later accepted Fair as a client and issued a clean opinion for 2004. Early told IBJ that Durham provided “additional collateral he had not brought to the table when he was dealing with them.”

Somerset didn’t provide a clean opinion for 2005, and Durham dismissed the firm as his auditor.

In related news, Durham's attorney is protesting the proposed sentence recommended in the presentecing report that Durham spend around 225 years in prison and pay $209 million in restitution. Click here to read more.



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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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