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Mexican restaurant owner's $3 million bond reversed, remanded

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The owner of a chain of Mexican restaurants in southeast Indiana charged with numerous crimes will have a lower bond after the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a trial court abused its discretion in denying his motion to reduce his $3 million bond.

Dearborn Circuit Judge James D. Humphrey set Adolfo Lopez’s bond at $3 million surety plus $250,000 cash after Lopez was charged with corrupt business influence, conspiracy to commit corrupt business influence, four counts of forgery, all as Class C felonies, and four counts of Class D felony perjury. He faces up to 60 years in prison and a $100,000 fine if convicted.

Lopez was under investigation by State Excise Police who learned that the chain of Acapulco Mexican restaurants he owned might not have been reporting and documenting all sales. The Department of Revenue found sales were being underreported and revealed fraudulent Social Security numbers of employees. Search warrants were obtained for safety deposit boxes in Lopez’s name that revealed $3 million in cash.

Humphrey had a hearing on the bail-reduction motion but gave little weight to factors that weighed in Lopez’s favor, Judge Terry Crone wrote for the panel. The court was “troubled” by a ruling that didn’t account for the forfeiture of assets.

“We must emphasize that we are dealing with a constitutional right here, and the goal is not to punish in advance of conviction but to assure the defendant’s appearance in court,” Crone wrote. “Significantly, the State has already seized in excess of $3,000,000 from the search of Lopez’s safety deposit boxes. Nonappearance by Lopez jeopardizes his ability to eventually recover any portion of that large sum of money. This fact alone indicates that the risk of nonappearance is lowered and that the extraordinary bail set here is at an amount significantly higher than reasonably calculated to assure Lopez’s presence in court.

“We reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand with instructions for the trial court to set a reasonable bond amount based upon the relevant statutory factors,” Crone wrote in Adolfo Lopez v. State of Indiana, 15A01-1212-CR-550.

More than 100 other people initially were charged along with Lopez after raids in September 2012, but those charges have been dismissed except for those against Lopez and his brother.  
 

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  1. Future generations will be amazed that we prosecuted people for possessing a harmless plant. The New York Times came out in favor of legalization in Saturday's edition of the newspaper.

  2. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  3. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  4. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  5. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

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