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Judge sets hearing on Conour bond revocation bid

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A judge Thursday set a hearing to determine whether former personal injury attorney William Conour will remain free pending his federal wire fraud trial.

Conour is charged with defrauding at least 25 personal-injury and wrongful-death clients of more than $4.5 million and is scheduled to stand trial Sept. 9 in federal court in Indianapolis.

Chief Judge Richard Young set a hearing for 10 a.m. June 13 on the government’s claims that Conour violated conditions of his bond by dissipating scores of assets that federal agents inventoried at his home, law office and horse farm after his arrest in April 2012.

Conour argues that most of the assets the government classifies as missing were given to his ex-wife pursuant to a divorce agreement executed months after Conour was charged. He acknowledges auctioning sculptures for about $10,000 months after he was granted bond.  

Meanwhile, the government supplemented its bond revocation request by asserting that after Conour received $35,000 from a court restitution fund to hire counsel last October, he began selling pieces of art with the consent of a former federal prosecutor who since has retired. Special assistant U.S. attorney Jason Bohm asserts that proceeds from the art sales were to help fund Conour’s legal representation.

“The United States agreed that for any sale the art dealer would withdraw the commission and sales tax from the sale, notify the United States of the sales price and net proceeds, and then forward the balance” to Conour, according to the supplemental filing. Sales went well, and Conour advised the court in late November, “I should be able to retain counsel within the next 30 days once I receive the funds,” according to the government.

But that never happened. Conour appeared before the court in January and requested a taxpayer-funded federal public defender. The court appointed James Donahoe as Conour’s public defender and ordered Conour to return remaining funds to the court. He gave back $16,000, the government said in its supplemental filing.

“In total, the defendant received $62,113.50 from the sale of art in November and December 2012, and a combined total of $97,113.50 when including the funds he received from the Court on October 22, 2012,” the government claims.    

Conour “disposed of more than $80,000 since October 22, 2012,” the government alleges. “These funds were not used to increase the restitution pool. Neither were the funds used to obtain counsel. Rather, it appears the defendant dissipated the assets on ‘personal expenses.’ He had neither the United States nor, more importantly, this Court’s approval to do so, thus violating the terms of his bond. This further supports the United States’ request that the defendant’s bond be revoked.”

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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