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Indianapolis attorney charged with defrauding clients out of $2.5M

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An Indianapolis attorney has been charged with misappropriating more than $2 million from his clients.

William F. Conour, 64, turned himself in to federal authorities Friday morning and made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch in Indianapolis. He’s been charged by information with wire fraud based on an Oct. 6, 2011, transmission by wire communication through a fax from Indianapolis to Zurich American Insurance in New Jersey.

According to the criminal complaint, 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. He allegedly kept most of his clients’ settlement proceeds for his own use. In one case, Conour didn’t tell a client that a settlement had been accepted, and Conour accepted the money on the client’s behalf. That client has not received any of the settlement proceeds.

The Indianapolis Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation received information July 2011 that Conour may be misappropriating his clients’ funds through the creation of trust accounts with an Ohio bank. According to the complaint, he has at least 14 client trusts with this bank. Conour did not deposit all the settlement funds with the bank, and instead funded the trusts on a yearly basis with funds only sufficient enough to enable the bank to issue monthly checks to the clients for a year.

Conour, who focuses his practice on construction liability cases involving serious injury and death, has practiced law under firm names including Conour Law Firm; Conour Daly; Conour Doehrman; Conour Devereux; and Conour Devereux Hammond.

He was released on his own recognizance with conditions, including that he can’t sell, transfer, encumber or otherwise dispose of his personal or business assets without court approval. If convicted, Conour faces up to 20 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.

According to the Indiana Roll of Attorneys, he was admitted in 1974 and has no disciplinary history.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana has been recused in the matter. The U.S. Attorney General appointed the Central District of Illinois to handle the prosecution.

Anyone who is believed to be a victim of the alleged criminal conduct of Conour is encouraged to contact the FBI at 1-877-542-8979.

 

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  1. He TIL team,please zap this comment too since it was merely marking a scammer and not reflecting on the story. Thanks, happy Monday, keep up the fine work.

  2. You just need my social security number sent to your Gmail account to process then loan, right? Beware scammers indeed.

  3. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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