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Government may appeal Conour’s 10-year sentence

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Federal prosecutors who argued for tougher punishment may appeal the 10-year sentence imposed in October for former attorney William Conour who pleaded guilty to a single count of wire fraud.

The notice of appeal was docketed last week in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the government will have until Jan. 6 to file pleadings or request more time to argue that Conour’s sentence was too lenient. The case on appeal is USA v. William Conour, 13-3643.

Whether prosecutors will proceed with a rare sentencing appeal is uncertain, but the notice was filed ahead of a deadline that preserves the government’s right to appeal.

Federal public defender Michael Donahoe represented Conour before Chief Judge Richard Young and said he was surprised to see the appeal notice filed. He said federal prosecutors told him no final decision had been made on whether the appeal would proceed, and he characterized the filing as a “placeholder” in case U.S. attorneys chose to appeal the sentence.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Bohm argued before sentencing that Conour, 66, should receive the maximum 20 years for stealing settlement proceeds from more than 30 former clients he represented in wrongful-death and personal-injury cases. Conour’s sentence also calls for him to make restitution of more than $6.5 million.

Victims said they were disappointed by the 10-year sentence, but Young said the sentence sent a deterrent message while also providing some hope that Conour might be able to make restitution. Young’s sentence was adjusted downward from the advisory sentencing range of 14 to 17.5 years calculated in a presentencing report prepared by the court's federal probation department.

According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Conour’s projected release date is in March 2022.
 

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  • Sentencing
    Think the only reason he shows any sign of remorse is he got caught. I don't believe once he's freed that he 'll make any attempt to pay his victims' back. He'll probably just try and disappear.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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