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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. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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