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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. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  3. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

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