Fair Finance victims share stories of financial losses

Jane Kalina
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Indianapolis financier Tim Durham was sentenced to 50 years in prison for swindling investors out of $200 million.

Durham was convicted of using the life savings of 5,000 investors to buy classic cars, mansions, and other luxury items. On Friday, the court heard from several of his former clients.

The prosecutor argued that the company Durham set up was essentially a shell business that was plundered by Durham.

The judge received over 1,000 letters from Durham's former clients who lost their life savings, and five people testified in court Friday.

Jane Kalina said her father invested with Durham's company, only to lose everything.

"My father's been a farmer for many, many years and as soon as he had his farm paid off, he started investing in Fair Finance. When he sold the farm, he put some of that money in, too. Basically this is his life savings. He has no retirement, no 401(k) and this is his life savings for him and my mother," said Kalina.

In all, Kalina's father lost $170,000 and hasn't seen a penny of that back. Her mother is in a nursing home with Alzheimer's and is not aware of what's happened.

"He's been devastated," said Kalina, who traveled from the Cleveland, Ohio area to attend the hearing. She said it was important to her family that her parents were represented Friday. "We're here for them. I'm just glad to be here to defend and to support our family that has been really affected by this."

"We don't want revenge because revenge stays in your heart forever. We want justice. So I think a sentence of life would be great. I feel bad for his family but our family has struggled," she said.

Also, a 74-year-old Ohio nun who says she lost more than $100,000 to a scam orchestrated by Durham and two partners says she forgive him but was hoping for a lengthy sentence.

Barbara Lukacik testified Friday before the sentencing of Durham, James Cochran and Rick Snow. The three men were convicted of fraud and conspiracy in June.

Lukacik says she lost $125,000 and objects to attorneys' calls for sentences shorter than the terms recommended by prosecutors.

She says a short sentence won't be enough for Durham and his co-conspirators to realize their sin and greed.