A jury has been chosen in the trial of Tim Durham, who the federal government accused of running an elaborate scheme that defrauded investors of more than $200 million.
Sixteen jurors, including four alternates, were selected Friday from a pool of 300 people.
Several of Durham's family members and friends were in U.S. District Court for the proceedings. They declined to comment on the case.
The trial is expected to last three to four weeks.
"This case is big in every way imaginable -- a large number of people involved, a huge number of documents involved, a large dollar amount involved," said Durham's attorney, John Tompkins.
Durham and two others are charged with looting Akron, Ohio-based Fair Finance Co. and using a Ponzi scheme to defraud about 5,200 investors, most of them elderly.
Federal prosecutors have accused Durham, his business partner and accountant of raiding the company to finance their lavish lifestyles and unsuccessful businesses.
"We're very confident and look forward to the opportunity to prove our case in court," 1st Assistant U.S. Attorney John Minkler said Thursday.
Cynthia Massee, who lost money with Fair Finance, told RTV6's Rafael Sanchez she wants to see justice done.
"It's good to see that justice is happening. Justice isn't always in money. Justice is the reward for somebody's actions if they did something criminal," she said.
Tompkins said whether Durham will testify will depend on the government's case. He said his client is ready for trial.
Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson in April rejected a request by Durham's attorney to dismiss the charges.
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