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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. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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