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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. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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