ILNews

Conour fraud trial set for September

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A federal judge Friday morning set a new trial date of Sept. 9 for an Indianapolis high-profile lawyer accused of misappropriating millions in client funds.

William F. Conour, 65, appeared at the hearing at U.S. District Court in Indianapolis with his new counsel, federal public defender Michael Donahoe.

Judge Richard L. Young postponed Conour’s original trial date in October after lawyers Richard Kammen and Dorie Maryan withdrew from the case in September.

The two had represented Conour since May, about a month after federal prosecutors filed a criminal complaint against him. But their relationship soured to the point that the two asked to be removed from the case, per Conour’s request, according to court documents.

Young appointed the public defender to represent Conour after he told the judge that his only income is $2,000 in monthly Social Security checks and he faces foreclosure on his home.

The court previously had released $35,000 from Conour’s frozen accounts to allow him to retain new counsel. But Conour instead sought out a public defender and spent $15,000 on living expenses, he told the judge.

Young ordered him to return the remaining $20,000 within the next week after federal prosecutors argued that the money should be used for restitution to help repay alleged victims.

“Those funds were released, at least in my mind, to establish a retainer [for a lawyer],” Young told Conour. “Since that’s not going to be the case here, we’ll have that money returned to a trust account.”

According to a criminal complaint filed in April, Conour is accused of engaging in a scheme from December 2000 to March 2012 to defraud his clients, using money obtained from new settlement funds to pay for old settlements and debts. Prosecutors charge he kept clients’ settlement proceeds for his own use.

In July, Conour relinquished his law license to the Indiana bar.

Under Indiana law, he will have to wait five years if he wishes to petition for reinstatement to the bar.

Conour was admitted to the bar in 1974 and had no previous disciplinary history.

For years, he had been among the highest-profile attorneys in Indiana, representing individuals seriously injured or killed in construction accidents.

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  • Bill Conour
    Not the man I knew years ago while we both worked for the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council. I'm very disappointed in Bill.

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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