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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. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  2. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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