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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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