INDIANAPOLIS (CN) – The SEC on Wednesday charged three top dogs at Akron, Ohio-based Fair Finance Co. with running a $230 million Ponzi scheme on more than 5,000 investors, many of them elderly.
The SEC claims CEO Timothy Durham, Chairman James Cochran and CFO Rick Snow swiped their suckers’ money and spent it on themselves for “luxury items,” including a private jet, a $6 million yacht, and $7 million on “exotic cars.”
Durham is the CEO of National Lampoon and Snow is its CFO, the SEC said in announcing its lawsuit, which does not involve the Lampoon.
The men bought Fair Finance, which had operated for decades as a privately held consumer finance company, and turned it into a Ponzi scheme, selling interest-bearing certificates, the SEC says.
The SEC claims that Durham and Cochran “distributed large amounts of money to family members and friends, and misused investor funds to afford mortgages for multiple homes, a $3 million private jet, a $6 million yacht, and classic and exotic cars worth more than $7 million. They also diverted investor money to cover hundreds of thousands of dollars in gambling and travel expenses, credit card bills, and country club dues, and to pay for elaborate parties and other forms of entertainment.”
Durham has homes in Los Angeles and Fortville, Ind.; Snow lives in Fishers, Ind., and Cochran in McCordsville, Ind.