Special U.S. Attorney Richard Cox filed an information in federal court Tuesday which accuses William Conour of stealing more than $4.5 million from 25 clients.
The government alleges that Conour, whose practice focused on personal injury claims until resigning from the bar in June, schemed to defraud his clients. The information says that Conour didn’t deposit the full amount of settlement funds into trust accounts and instead kept more than $3 million. He is also accused of using settlement funds from clients to make settlement payments to other clients.
The information also alleges that he negotiated a $450,000 settlement on behalf of a client without the client’s consent or knowledge, and he used the money to pay personal and business expenses as well as pay settlements and fees associated with other clients.
The government has charged him with wire fraud for faxing from his office on Oct. 6, 2011, to a company in New Jersey a document that contained that client’s release and indemnification agreement.
The claims are the same as those filed in a complaint April 27 in federal court in Indianapolis, but that complaint alleged that Conour had stolen more than $2.5 million. The government sought an extension of time to get an indictment in the case, and it instead filed this information. When informations are filed, it can be an indication that communications have taken place between the defendant, counsel and the government and that the defendant will plead guilty.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Central District of Illinois is handling the case because the Southern District of Indiana has been recused.
Conour has been disbarred in the federal courts.