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Federal prosecutor opposes funds for Conour, raises concern over assets

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A federal prosecutor says resigned personal injury attorney William Conour should not receive $10,000 from a court fund for living expenses. A court filing objecting to Conour’s request raises concern that he might try to liquidate assets the FBI inventoried.

Conour, who faces a wire fraud charge alleging he stole more than $4.5 million from numerous clients’ trust accounts over a number of years, filed a motion through his public defender this month asking for $10,000 to pay more than $7,000 in claimed monthly living expenses. The government opposes the motion to distribute the money from a court deposit fund established for victim compensation.

Chief Judge Richard Young of the District Court for the Southern District of Indiana has yet to set a hearing on the request, in which Conour claims monthly living expenses of $7,040, including $3,500 for car payments.

Special U.S. attorney Jason Bohm responded to Conour’s request in a court filing that argued Conour previously told the court that his living expenses were less than one-quarter what he now claimed, and that “the United States does not believe $3,500 per month in car payments is reasonable or consistent with an individual being provided counsel at public expense.”

Rather, Conour should petition the court to sell assets including extensive collections of art, wine and champagne, Bohm argued. He noted that as a condition of bond, Conour was ordered not to sell or transfer inventoried assets without court approval.

“Given the defendant’s inconsistent claims, the United States believes the court should make an ‘appropriate inquiry into the veracity’ of the defendant’s financial condition,” the government’s response said. It includes in a footnote:  

“The United States remains concerned that the defendant may attempt to liquidate all his assets leaving little for possible restitution for the victims. Thus, should the defendant ask to liquidate any assets, the United States would request an accounting from the defendant of any disposition of assets.”

Conour initially set aside $100,000 for a fund to reimburse victims and to pay his legal expenses. After hiring and dismissing two sets of defense attorneys, he deposited the remaining $39,279 with the court, from which he was provided $35,000 in October to retain new counsel.

In January, he requested a public defender, and Michael J. Donahoe of Indiana Federal Community Defenders Inc. was appointed. Young at that time ordered Conour to return money to the court fund, but it’s unclear how much remains.

“While not reflected on the Court’s docket sheet, the United States believes that the defendant did return approximately $16,000 to the Court’s Deposit Fund,” Bohm wrote.

Donahoe filed a motion for release of funds in which he claimed that Conour’s sole income was $2,140 per month from Social Security, while his more than $7,000 in monthly expenses included car payments of $1,700 for himself and $1,800 for his ex-wife, Jennifer Conour, as provided in a divorce decree issued in Kosciusko County.

Conour’s filing also notes he recently incurred about $3,000 in expenses for repairs to his Carmel home that is for sale.

Conour “believes that the requested funds will be sufficient to cover his expenses through April 2013,” Donahoe wrote.

Conour’s trial is scheduled for Sept. 9.

 

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  1. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  2. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  3. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

  4. When I hear 'Juvenile Lawyer' I think of an attorney helping a high school aged kid through the court system for a poor decision; like smashing mailboxes. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the bigger picture of the need for juvenile attorneys. It made me sad, but also fascinated, when it was explained, in the sixth paragraph, that parents making poor decisions (such as drug abuse) can cause situations where children need legal representation and aid from a lawyer.

  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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