Los Angeles Business Journal

Former National Lampoon CEO Convicted of Fraud

By Deborah Crowe Thursday, June 21, 2012

Timothy S. Durham, the former chief executive of National Lampoon Inc., has been found guilty of defrauding investors in an Indiana investment company he partially controlled.

A federal jury in Indianapolis late Wednesday convicted Durham on all 10 counts of wire fraud, one count of securities fraud, and one count of conspiracy. Each fraud conviction could result in 20 years in prison, and the conspiracy charge carries up to a five-year sentence, according to wire reports.

Durham was chief executive of Obsidian Enterprises Inc., an Indianapolis buyout firm. He, former National Lampoon Chief Financial Officer Rick Snow and another man were indicted last year on charges of defrauding 5,000 investors in a $200 million Ponzi scheme involving the sale of interest-bearing notes by Fair Finance Co. of Akron. Fair Finance, which Durham and a partner acquired in 2002, closed after a November 2009 raid by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Durham later resigned from National Lampoon, which owns the rights to the “Animal House,” “Vacation” and the National Lampoon brand. Durham had been the largest single shareholder of the West Hollywood public company. He took over as chief executive in 2009 after predecessor Dan Laikin was convicted of charges that he illegally manipulated the company’s stock price.