INDIANPOLIS (WISH) - We told you earlier this week that National Lampoon, a Tim Durham company, is being sued for millions by the Fair Finance bankruptcy trustee.
24-Hour News 8 spoke exclusively with a man trying to buy Lampoon. But that's just the beginning. Now, David Barras has spoken with London businessman Tim Porter - standing outside of Tim Durham's Geist mansion.
Porter knows that mansion well, because he lived there. And he knows Durham better than most, because the two were business partners.
"Craves attention," Porter said of Durham. "The only way he could actually get attention was with money."
For nearly a year, in 2007 and 2008, Porter had an up-close look at Durham's business style.
"Well, he actually didn't even run his businesses," Porter said. "He very rarely went into the office,"
And he had an equally close look at Durham's lavish Indianapolis lifestyle.
"And he just wasted, wasted, wasted so much money," Porter said. "He had a Phantom Rolls Royce there, and then went out and bought a Phantom Drophead, another $450,000. He had three Bentleys here, and then he ordered and bought another silver Bentley for his house in L.A."
Porter is now the CEO of Cannonball World Events, a company that runs cross-country car races.
Porter said Durham ran in the 2007 U.S. event and then bought a piece of the company. Porter said that was a big mistake.
"He didn't have any concept of how it ran," Porter said. "It ran very successfully for 11 years. And he brought it to its knees, because he would not listen."
Porter said he stayed at Durham's house for nine months. Slowly, he began realizing all was not as it seemed to be.
"It was like a bottomless pit," Porter said. "Nothing was bringing any money in. It was all money going out. And I never saw any money coming in."
So Porter left and rebuilt his business. And when the chance came, he put in an offer to buy another business allegedly stung by Durham: National Lampoon.
Porter offered the Fair Finance Trustee fair market value for the company, along with 25 percent of Lampoon profits for Fair Finance investors for five years.
"Yeah, I suffered like a lot of people suffered, but it's come back," Porter said. "We've re-employed staff. We're profitable. But I want to see him suffer like people are still suffering now/"
Porter said the trustee is considering his Lampoon offer, but the current lawsuit likely will slow the whole process.
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