Ind. financier gets 50 years for $200m swindle
Tompkins argued at trial that Durham and the others were caught off-guard by the economic crisis of 2008, and bewildered when regulators placed them under more strict scrutiny and investors made a run on the company.
The charges against Durham led several GOP politicians, including Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, to return hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions sought by Fair Finance's bankruptcy trustee.
Attorneys for all three men had asked the judge for lighter sentences than those recommended. Prosecutors had wanted 225 years for Durham, and Tompkins sought a total of five years — three years in prison and two years of home detention.
Magnus-Stinson said she couldn't give Durham the maximum sentence because it would be as "puffed up" as statements that he held $280 million in assets. But she noted that though he testified that he "felt terribly" for the victims, he had shown no sincere remorse.
Magnus-Stinson said she was unmoved by testimony about Durham's generosity over the years, including giving to charities and also to political campaigns.
"It's very easy to be generous if you're using someone else's money — and that's what was happening here," she said.
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, Joe Hogsett, said Friday's sentencing means families can finally begin putting their lives back together.
Barbara Lukacik, 74, an Ohio nun who said she lost $125,000 in the Fair Finance collapse, said she had forgiven Durham and the others but testified before the sentencing that a lengthy sentence was warranted.
"If you receive a short sentence — a slap on the wrist, so to say — I do not think it will be enough time for your heart and your conscience to realize your sin and your greed," she said.
Jane Kalina of Wayne County, Ohio, testified Friday that her 86-year-old father lost more than $170,000 — some of it from the sale of a family farm — that he had invested.
She said after the sentencing that she was satisfied, and was particularly pleased by Durham's lengthy sentence.
"I think he was the culprit and the sentence fits the crime," she said. "We're happy that he will be very old when he gets out."
Associated Press writers Rick Callahan and Ken Kusmer in Indianapolis contributed to this story.
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