ILNews

Against court orders, Conour auctioned art for $10k

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Former personal injury attorney William Conour claims his ex-wife is in possession of most of the items the government says are missing from his Carmel home, but he acknowledged auctioning sculptures for $10,000 in an apparent violation of bond conditions in his federal wire fraud case.

The admission is contained in Conour’s response to the government’s claim that numerous items inventoried by federal agents at his home, law office and Sheridan horse stables after his arrest more than a year ago could not be located during a recent follow-up inventory.

Conour said in a Friday filing that more than 75 items the government lists as missing from his home – including art, furniture, televisions, sports memorabilia and other items – “were awarded to Jennifer Conour as part of the dissolution of marriage property settlement and are at her residence.”

But one item isn’t. “Item 151 (‘large matching sculptures, Asian birds and flowers’) was sold at auction in November. Mr. Conour received approximately $10,000 for that sale in February 2013 and used that money for living expenses,” according to the filing by his federal public defender, Michael J. Donahoe.

Conour is set to stand trial September 9 in federal court in the Southern District of Indiana. He is accused of defrauding more than 25 clients of more than $4.5 million, though victims and attorneys familiar with the case believe the figure might be several million dollars more. Conour was arrested in April 2012 and resigned from the bar in June 2012.

The government last month sought to revoke Conour’s bond, arguing that he violated its terms when he dissipated inventoried items. Southern District Chief Judge Richard Young ordered a new inventory and ordered Conour to reacquire and place back in his possession items that had been dissipated.

In a May 10 entry, Young wrote that Donahoe “represented that most of the missing assets were transferred to (Conour’s) ex-wife pursuant to an uncontested divorce decree … (T)he inventoried assets were not to be transferred without permission of the court.”

Young earlier this month took federal prosecutor Jason Bohm’s request for bond revocation under advisement pending the outcome of the government’s latest inventory. As of midday Monday, Young had taken no further action.  

Weeks after Conour was charged and bond conditions set, Jennifer Conour filed a divorce action in Kosciusko Superior Court. In December, a judge in Warsaw approved a dissolution of marriage that divided the couples’ assets, awarding Jennifer Conour the Sheridan horse farm, among other things.

Conour addresses the divorce in his most recent filing. “Clearly, the dissolution decree from the Kosciusko Superior Court constitutes a ‘court order’ as that term is used in the release conditions,” his response says. “Furthermore, any objective valuation of the marital estate would demonstrate that the personal property was divided with Mr. Conour receiving well over 50 percent of the personal property despite the presumption under Indiana law that ‘… an equal division of the marital property between the parties is just and reasonable.’

“Had that case proceeded to a contested hearing the property division would, in all likelihood, have been far less favorable than that provided by the negotiated settlement,” Conour claims in the filing.

Meantime, Conour says in the filing that his ex refuses through her attorney to return property, and much of it would have been subject to Jennifer Conour’s claim of ownership before their marriage. “In other words, the ability to use that property for restitution has not been compromised by the property settlement and relocation.”

The filing also asserts that several inventoried items that the government says are missing are in Conour’s home and apparently were overlooked in the follow-up asset check.

After Conour put the large matching sculptures of Asian birds and flowers on the auction block, Donahoe was appointed his public defender. After Conour received the approximately $10,000 from the sale, he requested a separate $10,000 for living expenses from a court fund that had been established for restitution and other purposes.

That request was withdrawn when the government opposed it and raised the issue of asset dissipation. “The United States remains concerned that the defendant may attempt to liquidate all his assets leaving little for possible restitution for the victims,” the government argued in March.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. IF the Right to Vote is indeed a Right, then it is a RIGHT. That is the same for ALL eligible and properly registered voters. And this is, being able to cast one's vote - until the minute before the polls close in one's assigned precinct. NOT days before by absentee ballot, and NOT 9 miles from one's house (where it might be a burden to get to in time). I personally wait until the last minute to get in line. Because you never know what happens. THAT is my right, and that is Mr. Valenti's. If it is truly so horrible to let him on school grounds (exactly how many children are harmed by those required to register, on school grounds, on election day - seriously!), then move the polling place to a different location. For ALL voters in that precinct. Problem solved.

  2. "associates are becoming more mercenary. The path to partnership has become longer and more difficult so they are chasing short-term gains like high compensation." GOOD FOR THEM! HELL THERE OUGHT TO BE A UNION!

  3. Let's be honest. A glut of lawyers out there, because law schools have overproduced them. Law schools dont care, and big law loves it. So the firms can afford to underpay them. Typical capitalist situation. Wages have grown slowly for entry level lawyers the past 25 years it seems. Just like the rest of our economy. Might as well become a welder. Oh and the big money is mostly reserved for those who can log huge hours and will cut corners to get things handled. More capitalist joy. So the answer coming from the experts is to "capitalize" more competition from nonlawyers, and robots. ie "expert systems." One even hears talk of "offshoring" some legal work. thus undercutting the workers even more. And they wonder why people have been pulling for Bernie and Trump. Hello fools, it's not just the "working class" it's the overly educated suffering too.

  4. And with a whimpering hissy fit the charade came to an end ... http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2016/07/27/all-charges-dropped-against-all-remaining-officers-in-freddie-gray-case/ WHISTLEBLOWERS are needed more than ever in a time such as this ... when politics trump justice and emotions trump reason. Blue Lives Matter.

  5. "pedigree"? I never knew that in order to become a successful or, for that matter, a talented attorney, one needs to have come from good stock. What should raise eyebrows even more than the starting associates' pay at this firm (and ones like it) is the belief systems they subscribe to re who is and isn't "fit" to practice law with them. Incredible the arrogance that exists throughout the practice of law in this country, especially at firms like this one.

ADVERTISEMENT