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Conour court filings reveal lavish lifestyle

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Editor's note: The online version has been updated to reflect a Dec. 17 order regarding the Conours' dissolution of marriage.

Ex-attorney William Conour told a judge this month that he has not secured legal representation in his multi-million-dollar federal wire fraud case 10 weeks and $50,000 after separating from his lawyers.

Conour earlier this year said in federal court that he would not be a pro se litigant in the criminal case against him, but he is representing himself in court elsewhere. An examination of two such cases reveals a lifestyle in which the former leading personal-injury and wrongful-death attorney and his wife claimed monthly expenses in excess of $40,000 – more than 2.5 times their claimed monthly income.

conour-bill-mug Conour

Meanwhile, an alleged Conour victim who spoke to Indiana Lawyer claims he is owed money from a trust dating to the mid-1990s – years earlier than instances of alleged misappropriation that have been identified.

The government accuses Conour of misappropriating more than $4.5 million from at least 25 clients’ trust funds in a Ponzi scheme dating to 1999. The case in the District Court for the Southern District of Indiana is U.S.A. v. William Conour, 1:12-CR-0129.

Conour on Dec. 4 told Southern District Chief Judge Richard Young during a status hearing conducted by phone that he hadn’t retained counsel after his former defenders withdrew in September. Young scheduled an in-person status conference for Conour at 11 a.m. Jan. 24 at the federal courthouse in Indianapolis.

Richard Cox, a special U.S. attorney from the Central District of Illinois who is prosecuting the case against Conour, said Young indicated during the phone hearing that he expects to set a trial date at the January status hearing.

Since parting ways with his last attorneys, Richard Kammen and Dorie Maryan, Conour has represented himself in federal court motions and in two hearings conducted by phone regarding the status of his legal representation.

When Young in September asked Conour if he intended to represent himself, Conour said he didn’t and that he required a disbursement from a $100,000 trust fund he’d established with the court for victim restitution and other purposes in order to retain legal counsel and for living expenses. Young allowed Conour a disbursement of $15,000, leaving a balance of $39,297.35. In October, Young granted Conour another $35,000 from the trust.

Meanwhile, Conour appeared as his own lawyer in a divorce action that was finalized recently in Kosciusko County and in a mortgage foreclosure suit against him in Hamilton County. Conour’s wife, Jennifer, filed for divorce in May, a month after her husband was charged. The foreclosure was filed in March.

Kosciusko Superior Judge Duane Huffer on Dec. 17 signed a verified waiver of final hearing, settlement agreement and decree of dissolution of marriage for the Conours.

Julie Camden of the Indianapolis law firm Camden & Meridew P.C. represented Jennifer Conour in the divorce filing and entered an appearance on her behalf as an intervener in the foreclosure. A firm representative who responded to telephone messages said Camden would not discuss the proceedings.

Telephone messages left for William and Jennifer Conour were not returned.

On May 24, the Kosciusko court approved an agreed provisional order that divided the couple’s three Hamilton County properties and granted Jennifer Conour physical custody of their minor children. The Dec. 17 order finalizes the earlier provisional order with some modifications.

The Dec. 17 order says that Jennifer Conour will get a Carmel home on Branford Street that, according to Hamilton County records, has an assessed value of $452,500. The order also grants her the use and possession of a Sheridan horse farm with an assessed value of $229,400 from which she operates Equus Inc., which provides dressage training for equestrian sports.

William Conour was granted use and possession of the 9,784-square-foot Carmel house on Sedgemoor Circle that is now the subject of the foreclosure suit. That house has an assessed value of $1.2 million and recently had been on the market for $2.5 million. According to Hamilton County property records, the house has 25 finished rooms and 10 fireplaces. The Conours agreed in the provisional order that, “if necessary, they will relinquish possession and ownership … to Salin Bank and Trust Company.”

But Conour, pro se, is fighting the foreclosure Salin filed. A final judgment of $370,681 was entered for Lafayette Bank & Trust on Sept. 27, but Conour filed a motion to correct error and vacate judgment, and the matter was reopened. As of mid-December, no further proceedings had been scheduled on the foreclosure.

conourAfter filing a Freedom of Information Act request with the Kosciusko court, Indiana Lawyer was furnished verified financial declaration forms that the Conours filed in their divorce action.

In them, William Conour declares monthly income of $15,166, and expenses of $31,209, including credit card and loan payments totaling $11,000; rent and mortgage payments of $7,500; state and federal tax payments totaling $5,000; and auto loan payments of $2,600.

Jennifer Conour claims no income and expenses of $9,221, $6,600 of which is for rent and mortgage payments on the horse farm. The category of “other expenses” is marked “TBD.”

Jennifer Conour reported no other monthly expenses greater than $700. But on her Facebook page in mid-December, she listed extensive travels in 2012: 16 trips, including such international destinations as Florence and Venice, Italy; Amsterdam, Madrid, Norway and Helsinki; and continental stops in Sacramento, Calif.; Oregon and Florida, among others.

William Conour bought the Sedgemoor Circle home in the Bridlebourne subdivision in 1996, according to property records. Around that time, Conour was to have established a six-figure trust for a child who was about 18 months old when his father, Michael Condon, died in a workplace accident in South Bend in 1994. Conour’s firm represented Michael Condon’s estate and his survivors in a wrongful-death case that was settled.

“That (trust fund) was the only thing I had left of him,” Zackery Condon said in a telephone interview. A person with knowledge of the cases confirmed Condon among the victims.

Now 19 and living in Mishawaka, Condon said that as a teenager he learned about the trust that Conour was to have established for him. He said he learned that he could expect to receive $10,000 annually, beginning at age 18, for his education.

Condon said Conour released a single payment of $10,000 to him when he enrolled for studies, but not without repeated requests. “I kind of had to drill it out of him,” Condon said.

Sara Masterson, Condon’s mother, said in a phone interview that reaching a settlement was a long, hard process in which she had to repeatedly relive her husband’s death during depositions. When the case was finally resolved, she remembers sitting at the table with Conour as he described the trust structure. Along with the yearly disbursements for his education, Zack would get a quarter of the trust at age 25, half at 30, and the remainder at 35.

“I was a single mom. It meant for me that Zack was going to have an education,” and be provided for when it came time to raise a family, Masterson said.

“From what I understand, Zack is lucky to have gotten what he has,” she said. “That’s what I’ve come to realize … it’s no longer there for him.”

Now, Condon has his own five-month-old son, Isaiah, to support. He said he’s looking for work in a tough economy and doing his best with what’s available to him.

“I actually have a lot of difficulties,” he said. “I can’t pay for college right now.”

But Condon is looking ahead hopefully. His plan is to study psychology. “I just want to make my life and other people’s lives better than they are,” he said.•

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  • 125k instead I just received 35k
    fifteen years ago this man represented me in an accident that it took two years to to finish I end up with only. 35k I was laid up for awhile from work and from the Army reserves I thought I was kind wrong that he took way over half of the settlement just made me think once I ran across this article
  • Article
    Dad you should reach out to this kid before he makes a big mistake

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  1. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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