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Conour alleges feds reneged on deal to delay prosecution

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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.

 

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  • 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.

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    1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

    2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

    3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

    4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

    5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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