ILNews

Conour alleges feds reneged on deal to delay prosecution

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Former personal injury attorney William Conour has filed an affidavit in his federal wire fraud case swearing that the government reneged on a deal to delay his prosecution so that he could settle outstanding cases that could have generated about $2 million in fees.

Conour also calls out lawyers who took over those approximately 55 cases. “None of the lawyers who assumed representation of those clients has paid any of the fees owed to me or reimbursed the expenses I advanced,” Conour wrote.

Once one of Indiana’s go-to personal injury attorneys, Conour was charged in April 2012 with a single count of wire fraud. Authorities charged him in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana with defrauding more than 25 clients of at least $4.5 million. Victims and attorneys familiar with the case believe the figure might be several million dollars more

According to the affidavit, Conour and his then-attorney James Voyles met with federal prosecutors, an FBI agent and an Indiana state trooper in the month before his arrest to discuss potential settlement of Conour’s pending cases and to arrange for Voyles to hold the fees from those settlements in a trust from which Conour could draw living expenses and “pay future client annuity costs or client restitution, should any be required.”

“It was agreed that I would have access to these funds for personal and family living expenses and debt obligations upon approval of (the assistant U.S. attorney) or upon court order in the absence of an agreement. The government agreed to defer filing criminal charge until June (2012), to allow the maximum possible accumulation of settlement fees and expenses into this fund,” Conour said in the affidavit.

But Conour said he was in mediation with a client in late April of that year when Voyles called and told him that a criminal complaint would be filed and that Conour would have to surrender on April 27, which he did.

“The publication of the criminal complaint destroyed my law practice and caused my remaining clients to terminate their contract for legal services with me and seek other counsel,” Conour wrote in the affidavit.

(The affidavit erroneously refers to the events taking place in 2011 rather than 2012.) “The filing of the criminal complaint in April (2012), only a couple of weeks after the meeting rather than in June, effectively destroyed the original purpose of the fund by depriving me of the ability to settle any additional cases to increase the fund by more than two settlements” that amounted to about $150,000, Conour wrote.

Voyles said Friday that there had been no written or “handshake” agreement to delay the filing of criminal charges, though he said Conour had hoped such an arrangement could be made.

Conour filed the affidavit as Chief Judge Richard Young considers Conour’s request for $10,000 in living expenses from the  trust now held by the court. The government opposes the release of funds to pay for, among other things, monthly car payments totaling more than $3,500.

Conour was appointed a federal public defender in January after he said his sole monthly income was $2,000 from Social Security. Conour’s trial is scheduled for Sept. 9.

The affidavit is part of Conour’s reply in support of the motion to release funds, in which he writes, “The government refers to the fund in question as a ‘restitution fund.’” Conour contends, “this fund was established to allow the government to monitor the collection and disposition of settlement funds and attorney fees collected between April 3, 2012 … and an unspecified time in June when it was anticipated that, upon agreement with counsel for the government, (Conour) would have limited access to those funds to meet his living expenses.”

The former special assistant U.S. attorney assigned to the case, Richard Cox from the Central District of Illinois, has since retired. The replacement federal prosecutor, Jason Bohm from the Central District of Illinois, could not be reached for comment Friday.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Guilty!
    bill Conman is completely guilty of stealing, lying and being a piece of dirt. He stole from me, and I have all the proof the law needs to send him away! good luck con!
  • Cause and Effect
    It wasn't “[t]he publication of the criminal complaint" that "destroyed [your] law practice," but rather your criminal conduct as an attorney, unless, of course, you are innocent.

    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

    facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

    Indiana State Bar Association

    Indianapolis Bar Association

    Evansville Bar Association

    Allen County Bar Association

    Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

    facebook
    ADVERTISEMENT
    Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
    1. My mother got temporary guardianship of my children in 2012. my husband and I got divorced 2015 the judge ordered me to have full custody of all my children. Does this mean the temporary guardianship is over? I'm confused because my divorce papers say I have custody and he gets visits and i get to claim the kids every year on my taxes. So just wondered since I have in black and white that I have custody if I can go get my kids from my moms and not go to jail?

    2. Someone off their meds? C'mon John, it is called the politics of Empire. Get with the program, will ya? How can we build one world under secularist ideals without breaking a few eggs? Of course, once it is fully built, is the American public who will feel the deadly grip of the velvet glove. One cannot lay down with dogs without getting fleas. The cup of wrath is nearly full, John Smith, nearly full. Oops, there I go, almost sounding as alarmist as Smith. Guess he and I both need to listen to this again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRnQ65J02XA

    3. Charles Rice was one of the greatest of the so-called great generation in America. I was privileged to count him among my mentors. He stood firm for Christ and Christ's Church in the Spirit of Thomas More, always quick to be a good servant of the King, but always God's first. I had Rice come speak to 700 in Fort Wayne as Obama took office. Rice was concerned that this rise of aggressive secularism and militant Islam were dual threats to Christendom,er, please forgive, I meant to say "Western Civilization". RIP Charlie. You are safe at home.

    4. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

    5. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

    ADVERTISEMENT