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Conour appeals fraud conviction, 10-year sentence

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Former attorney William Conour will appeal his conviction and 10-year prison sentence imposed after he pleaded guilty to a single count of wire fraud.

Conour’s notice of appeal  was filed to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, just days after federal prosecutors filed a notice preserving the government’s ability to appeal a sentence they believed was too lenient given the scope and nature of the offense.

Michael Donahoe, Conour’s court-appointed federal public defender in the District Court proceedings, could not be immediately reached for comment Thursday.

Conour, 66, pleaded guilty in July to a single count of wire fraud. At his sentencing in October, he admitted to government information that alleged he stole about $6.7 million from more than 30 former wrongful-death and personal-injury clients for whom he had negotiated settlements.

Prosecutors asked Chief Judge Richard Young of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana to impose the maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and a presentencing report advised a sentence of 14 to 17.5 years in prison. But when he sentenced Conour to 10 years in October, Young said punishment would send a deterrent message while allowing Conour to have some role in providing victims the $6.5 million in restitution ordered by the court.
 
The 7th Circuit on Wednesday consolidated the defense and government appeals as USA v. William Conour, 13-3753, and ordered Conour’s appellate brief filed by Jan. 21. The appeal is to be fully briefed by April 7.

The 7th Circuit docket also reflects Donahoe terminated his representation of Conour on Wednesday. Conour now is represented by Sara Varner of Indiana Federal Community Defenders Inc. Varner could not be immediately reached for comment Thursday.

Conour is housed in the minimum security Morgantown (W.Va.) Federal Correctional Institutional, with a projected release date of March 6, 2022, according to the Bureau of Prisons.
 

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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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