Conour enters guilty plea

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Former leading personal-injury attorney William Conour has entered a guilty plea  in his federal wire fraud case.

Conour asked the court in a filing July 3 to waive a trial that had been scheduled for Sept. 9. The change of plea was entered six days after a judge ordered him jailed for dissipating assets in violation of terms of bond.

Conour is accused of defrauding 25 or more clients of at least $4.5 million. He faces a possible sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of as much as $250,000.

“No officer or agent of any branch of government … nor any other person has made any promise or suggestion of any kind to me, or within my knowledge to anyone else, that I would receive a lighter sentence or any other consideration if I would plead guilty, and no such person has made any threats against me if I exercise my right to go to trial,” according to the plea signed by Conour and his public defender, Michael Donahoe.

Donahoe declined comment Monday.

Philip Gordon, deputy for Chief Judge Richard Young of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, said a hearing on Conour’s change of plea had not been set as of Monday morning, but that he expected Young to schedule a hearing soon.

Whether victims will have an opportunity to testify before Conour is sentenced is unclear, though such testimony is allowed.

Zackery Condon, 20, of Mishawaka, hopes he or other victims may have such a chance. He was a toddler when his father, Michael Condon, died in a workplace accident in South Bend in 1994. Zackery’s family says Conour won a six-figure settlement in 1996 that was to be held in trust and available for Zackery’s education and living expenses. Zackery says he received just $10,000.

 “I’d like to show everybody at least what happened,” Condon said Monday. “I have one thing left of my father, and that is his motorcycle jacket.”

Condon works long hours each day as a truck driver hauling lumber. “I bust my butt,” he said, but his paycheck every two weeks is barely enough. “At the end of those two weeks, I only have $57 for food.”

Conour’s guilty plea won’t do much to help his victims, Condon acknowledges. “He probably knew he was going to get caught, but there’s not going to be enough for everyone who got hurt in the process,” he said. “It’s kind of ridiculous that someone high up like him – because he was really well known – would take wrongful death money. It’s kind of pathetic.”  

Condon said he hopes for some compensation, though where funds might come from is an open question. Conour spent famously, and his ex-wife Jennifer Conour received assets in a divorce that Young criticized upon revoking Conour’s bond.

“I think someone needs to go up and tell a story of what actually happened,” Condon said. “It’s not just me that got stuff taken away, there are 20-plus other people. Maybe everybody just needs to hear an actual full story about what he did to them.”

The U.S. attorney’s office for the Central District of Illinois, which prosecuted the case against Conour, said Monday there would be no immediate comment on the plea.



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  1. Freedom From Religion Foundation: If you really want to be free from religion, don't go to the Christmas Play or the Christmas Pageant or the Christmas Parade. Anything with "Christ" or Saint...fill in the blank...would be off limits to you. Then leave the rest of us ALONE!

  2. So the prosecutor made an error and the defendants get a full remedy. Just one short paragraph to undo the harm of the erroneous prosecution. Wow. Just wow.

  3. Wake up!!!! Lawyers are useless!! it makes no difference in any way to speak about what is important!! Just dont tell your plans to the "SELFRIGHTEOUS ARROGANT JERKS!! WHO THINK THEY ARE BETTER THAN ANOTHER MAN/WOMAN!!!!!!

  4. Looks like you dont understand Democracy, Civilized Society does not cut a thiefs hands off, becouse now he cant steal or write or feed himself or learn !!! You deserve to be over punished, Many men are mistreated hurt in many ways before a breaking point happens! grow up !!!

  5. It was all that kept us from tyranny. So sad that so few among the elite cared enough to guard the sacred trust. Nobody has a more sacred obligation to obey the law than those who make the law. Sophocles No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it. Obedience to the law is demanded as a right; not asked as a favor. Theodore Roosevelt That was the ideal ... here is the Hoosier reality: The King can do no wrong. Legal maxim From the Latin 'Rex non potest peccare'. When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal. Richard Nixon