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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. This guy sounds like the classic molester/manipulator.

  2. Louis D. Brandeis was born in 1856. At 9 years of age it would have been 1865. The Brandeis family did not own slaves. My source Louis D. Brandeis: A Life, by Melvin L. Urofsky.

  3. My name is Matthew Lucas Major, I recently went through a jury trial in Bloomington , In. It was the week of Feb 19-21. Although I have been incarcerated since August 5, 2014. The reason I 'am writing to you sir is on the 21 of February the jury came in with a very excessive and wrongful verdict of guilty on 6 child molesting charges against my daughter who was 9 at the time I was accused. I also had 2 other Felonies one of Intimidation and 1 of Sexual Vicarious Gratification. Judge Marc Kellam on the second day of trial gave me a not guilty on those 2 felonies. The jury was sent out during that time and when brought back Judge Kellam told them to not concern themselves with the 2 Felonies that he ruled on them. They were told to not let evidence they had already heard influence there verdicts. I never in my life touched any child sexually and definitely not with my own daughter. When I was arrested Detective Shawn Karr told me I would be convicted guilty just on my daughters word even without evidence. That's just what happened. my public defender did me so wrong he never once proved to the court and jury all the lies the child told, and Jeremy Noel my public defender could of proven the lies easily. The stories in Serenity's depositions and Forensic interview changed and were not consistent as Prosecutor Darcie Fawcett claimed they were. Yet my attorney never mentioned that. The facts that the child accused me of full penetration in her vagina and rectum was proven lies. Doctor Roberta Hibbard of Riley hospital in Indianapolis confirmed Serenity's hymen intact, no scars, no tearing, no signs of rape to her. Yet my attorney didn't use that knowledge . the DNA was all in my favor. I tell you I will spend my entire life in prison going through rape and beatings etc. even Judge Kellam abused his authority by telling the jurors to listen and believe what the prosecutors side in evidence like my daughters testimony. In one interview with the detectives my daughter got flustered with her mom and said on camera " I'm saying what you told me to mom"!! Yet Mr. Noel said nor did anything to even resemble a defense attorney. Judge Kellam allowed edited version of a taped conversation between the child and her mother. Also Judge Kellam allowed the Prosecutor too bring in to my case a knife found under my seat, the knife wasn't part of my case. She was allowed by my attorney and the judge to put a huge picture of it on the screen and huge picture of my naked privates in a full courtroom and open court. Ms. Fawcett says to jury see how easy Mr. Major could reach the knife and cut his Childs throat. Even though I had no weapons charge against these cases. This gave the jurors prejudice thought against me thinking I threatened her with that knife and how scared she would of been knowing i could get it and kill her. On my sentencing court March 19, 2014 my public defender told Judge Kellam he wish to resign from being my attorney and wished for the court to give me outside council to file a error to trial or appeal. We were denied. Now after openly knowing my public defender don't want to represent me he has to. Well when as parents we make our kids clean a room when they really don't wish to, well the child will but don't mean she will do a good job, that's where I'm at with Mr. Noel. please dont ignore mine and my families pleas for your help . we have all the legal proof you could need to prove Im innocent. Please dont make my spend years in prison innocent when you can fix this wrong. Im not saying Im a perfect man or that I was a perfect dad to my 2 children none of us are. Ive made some bad choices in life and I paid for them. But I didnt ever touch or rape my daughter . I love my children with all my heart. And now through needing attention and a ex-wife who told my granny several times she wish she could put me in prison to get me out of their lives. Well my ex finally accomplished her goal. Sad part is she is destroying our daughter with all this horrific lies and things she taught my daughter to say. My daughter will need therapist to ever hope for a chance of a normal life after what she had done to her by her mom and their side of the family. My daughter told everyone even on stand she had a dream months before i supposedly molested her in this dream I was molesting her and when I finally did it matched her dream perfectly. She admitted to watching movies about little girls being molested and watching U-Tube videos about child molesting all before it happened supposedly to her. Doesn't that sound very unusual that a non molested 9 yr old would need to know so much about being molested? The only reason I could think a 9 year old would need so much information is to be prepared to know what to say and be able to say how it felt what took place etc.. So when questioned by authorities she would be prepared. And there again sir if a parent is pre grooming a 9 year old child she would need intimate details . Like telling her daughter about a couple moles on my private area. The child admitted to sneaking my cell and looking many many times at nudes of me and my girlfriend even one where my penis was entering my girlfriends vagina. In that picture my moles are obvious. Yet when prosecutor showed everyone in court my privates and pictures of the moles she said the only way the child would know about them is if she saw them for herself. My attorney once again said nothing about the pictures my child saw. Or could a ex-wife be able to describe my moles to help her case against getting rid of me? I beg you help me. This is my very existence. Ive lost everything , a good job, a wonderful girlfriend, my freedom, but worse thing Ive lost is my children. They were my reason to get up every morning and strive to be better. The wonderful bond I had with my Serenity is gone. After this I would be afraid to even hug her for fear of what next can they do to me. I'm not afraid to tell you I sit here in this cell and try to hold back my tears. Everyone knows you cant show weakness in prison. My life has already been threatened here at Wabash Valley Prison. After only 3 days of arrival. I was tricked into signing a waiver now Im in G Block General Population with 6 child molesting felony charges. Mrs. Hart as a 18 year old I almost died hooked to machines in hospital almost 1 month and now I know that fear was childish compared to this . I cant help but put emotions in this, after all Mrs. Hart Im human and God help Me I never been more afraid in my life. I didnt hurt my little girl I didnt touch her sexually. As much as it shreds me and fills my mind what Im facing I worry more about my mom and granny because of their great love for me mam they are suffering so deeply. I aint done this things but my loved ones suffering right along beside me and If you take my case you will be in essence freeing them also. I sent momma this letter and asked her to email it to you. I'm scared I have been done so unjustly by our legal system and I need you to fix this and give me freedom. I ask you please don't just ignore my pleas. Here in America its nice to be able to trust our legal justice system, well they destroyed my and my loved ones trust in our justice system . And I'm trusting in You !!! My entire family is suffering this nightmare with me. My 77 year old granny had a stroke and isn't doing so well. My single mother that raised 3 kids alone is dying from Lupus and since my arrest has stayed so sick and weary. Our lives torn to peices by a government I was taught I could trust in. my momma has tried so many innocent project and wrongfully accused and cant get anywhere. please please help me. A quote from the late Nelson Mandela: To be free is not merely to cast off ones chains, But to live in a way that respects and enhances The Freedom Of Others. I have Faith in you and your clinic to cast my chains off and give me freedom I do deserve as a wrongfully accused Man, son, brother, father, friend. Matthew Major DOC# 246179 Cause # : 53c02-1308-FA-000779 God Bless you. Please contact me with your decision so I know you made a life changing decision for me , just please at least write me so I know you care enough about your citizens to respond to cries for your help. You can speak openly with my mother Charlotte Spain (828) 476-0406: 71 Lakeview Dr. Canton, NC 28716 Thank You Matthew Major I know yall get thousands of request and inmates claiming innocence, and each person who are innocent deserve to have organizations like yours willing to fight for them and I give yall so much Thanks and I thank God everyday yall are out there caring enough to help free the innocents. Since discovering firsthand how easily lives and families can be destroyed by Poor Defense attorneys not doing their job . And Prosecutors allowed to do as they please in court

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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