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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. Future generations will be amazed that we prosecuted people for possessing a harmless plant. The New York Times came out in favor of legalization in Saturday's edition of the newspaper.

  2. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  3. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  4. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  5. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

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