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New Conour asset check ordered in bond revocation bid

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Former attorney William Conour stayed out of custody in his federal wire fraud case Thursday, but the judge withheld a ruling on a government bid to revoke bond until investigators can take a fresh look at Conour’s assets the FBI inventoried last year.

“Some of these assets have been dissipated,” Chief Judge Richard Young of the District Court for the Southern District of Indiana said after he examined Conour under seal, outside the view of government attorneys and the public during a hearing at the federal courthouse in Indianapolis.

Young requested the FBI and U.S. attorney’s office conduct another inventory of Conour’s properties to determine whether items might have been sold without court permission and whether that would violate terms of bail. “The court is interested in what remains of the inventory,” Young said.

Conour, once one of Indiana’s go-to personal injury attorneys, was charged in April 2012. Authorities allege he defrauded more than 25 clients of at least $4.5 million. Victims and attorneys familiar with the case believe the figure might be several million dollars more. He resigned from the bar in June 2012.

Thursday’s hearing came after Conour requested $10,000 for living expenses from a court fund, a motion that he later withdrew. But the government insisted the hearing go forward and sought to combat Conour’s claim that the feds reneged on a deal to delay prosecution so that he could settle cases and use the proceeds for possible restitution.

“There was discussion about it, but we never agreed,” FBI special agent Doug Kasper testified of a meeting involving federal authorities, Conour, and his attorney at the time, Jim Voyles, in early April 2012. Conour alleges in an affidavit the government had agreed to delay prosecution until last June.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Bohm introduced an affidavit from Voyles saying that no such agreement had been made. Conour’s public defender, James Donahoe, characterized the inconsistencies as “different recollections of exactly what happened.”

Bohm also introduced evidence that Conour, who claims monthly income of about $2,200 and monthly expenses of about $7,000, paid for airline tickets to Arizona to visit his daughter this month and take his son to spring training baseball games. Southern District probation officer Patrick Jarosh said he had been told that a family member living in Arizona, not Conour, would pay for the trip.

Jarosh testified that Conour’s travel was approved with the understanding that a family member was paying, and Jarosh said “it would have given pause for thought” if Conour had proposed to travel on his own dime. Conour insisted that he left a voice mail message for Jarsoh saying his plans had changed, but Jarosh said he didn’t recall such a message.

Some of Conour’s alleged victims watching the hearing reacted audibly to disclosures such as Conour’s multi-night stay at the J.W. Marriott in Phoenix.

Bohm told Young that information about dissipation of assets had come to the government’s attention just before Thursday’s hearing and prompted the request to revoke Conour’s bond.

“There’s a significant question about whether Mr. Conour has violated terms of his bond,” Bohm said. “The issue should be addressed,” he said.

Donahoe took exception, saying, “all of a sudden, and quite surprising to me,” the hearing was being converted into a bond revocation proceeding. “It’s highly unfair. This is the first we’ve heard that they’re seeking this kind of remedy,” Donahoe told Young, requesting 10 days to prepare for a revocation hearing.

Young later told Donahoe that some of Conour’s monthly expenses – particularly $3,000 in car lease payments – could not be justified for someone benefiting from a taxpayer-supported defender. “It’s a matter of high concern for the court and a matter that needs to be addressed,” Young said.

Donahoe said Conour needed the vehicles to transport children to and from school, for instance, and that he was “tens of thousands of dollars upside down” on payments. Young suggested Conour could simply return the keys.

“The kids don’t need to be transported in luxury,” Young said.

After talking to Conour privately, Young told the court that Conour would continue to receive the assistance of a public defender, but the auto payments would no longer be considered part of Conour’s monthly living expenses.

Young took the motion to revoke bond under advisement until it can be determined whether assets previously inventoried have been sold. Young directed a new inventory be scheduled in the next 15 to 20 days.

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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

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  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

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