A federal jury will now decide whether an Indianapolis businessman and his partners raided an Ohio-based finance company after they bought it, bilking thousands of mostly elderly investors out of more than $200 million.
Jurors began deliberating Wednesday morning in the fraud trial of Tim Durham, his business partner and his accountant.
Deputy U.S. Attorney Winfield Ong said the evidence shows that Durham and his partners raided Fair Finance to enrich themselves and their friends and to prop up Durham's other struggling businesses.
But Durham's defense attorney, John Tompkins, insisted the men simply made bad business decisions in the midst of the bewildering economic crisis of 2008. He said prosecutors presented isolated facts to make it appear that Durham was guilty of fraud when no fraud actually occurred.
Before the case was given to the jury, Tompkins asked for a mistrial based on statements made by an attorney representing Durham's partner, who said he believed that fraud had been committed.
The request was denied, but it sets up grounds for an appeal.
Durham did not testify at the trial.
Copyright Copyright 2012 by TheIndyChannel.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.