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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. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  2. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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