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Judge asks public defender about Conour money

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A federal judge has ordered the Office of the Federal Defender for the Southern District of Indiana to disclose whether it is holding any property belonging to William Conour, the former attorney who was represented by a public court-appointed lawyer from the agency.

Chief Judge Richard Young of the District Court for the Southern District of Indiana on Thursday issued a writ of garnishment  giving the federal defender’s office 10 days to answer “whether or not you have in your custody, control or possession, any property in which the defendant has a substantial non-exempt interest.”

Conour pleaded guilty to wire fraud and admitted to government allegations that he stole more than $6.5 million in settlement proceeds from more than 30 wrongful death and personal-injury clients.

Last month, Conour claimed he had made full restitution and was owed $184,214.26 after paying restitution of just over $634,000. He reasoned he was required to make restitution only to the one victim identified in the wire fraud charge, who was defrauded of $450,000.

In the writ of garnishment, Young rejects that logic, holding that the balance due on the judgment as of April 25 is $5,931,152.06.

When Conour filed the pro se pleading seeking to excuse himself from the remaining restitution, he also acknowledged the federal defender’s office held $2,512, “representing the remaining balance of an investment account Defendant had with Reliance Financial Services.”

Conour sought to have those funds transferred to his commissary at the Federal Correctional Institute at Morgantown, W.Va., where he is serving a 10-year sentence. Conour “denies … (the government) is entitled to garnish these funds.”

Young ordered the defender’s office to describe “the value and property in which the defendant has an interest that is in your possession, custody or control.”

“You are required to withhold and retain pending further Order of this court any property in which the defendant has a substantial non-exempt interest for which you are now, or may in the future, become indebted to the defendant,” Young wrote.

Officials at the federal defender agency could not be reached for comment Friday.



 
 

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