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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. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  2. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  3. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  4. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  5. I totally agree with John Smith.

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