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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. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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