Government seeking tougher sentence for Conour

March 16, 2016

Ex-attorney William Conour has argued he should be freed from his 10-year federal prison sentence, casting doubt in court filings on whether the multi-million-dollar fraud he pleaded guilty to was even a crime. The government counters that Conour’s lack of remorse justifies imposing a longer prison term when he is in court Wednesday for resentencing.

“In his most recent sentencing memorandum Conour, among other things, explicitly disavows any acceptance of responsibility for his fraudulent scheme,” the government says in its resentencing memorandum. It notes Conour argues “it is highly doubtful the [trust accounts] are even a crime.

“The government requests that this Court remove any credit for acceptance of responsibility and sentence Conour accordingly.”

Conour, 68, who is representing himself before Chief Judge Richard Young in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, admitted in 2013 to draining more than $6 million from the trust accounts of 36 clients for whom he negotiated personal injury and wrongful death settlements. His case was remanded for resentencing in light of the decision in United States v. Thompson, 777 F.3d 368 (7th Cir. 2015), which struck down certain uniform conditions of post-sentence supervised release.

On remand, however, Conour has challenged his conviction and sentence, filing motions seeking to throw out the government’s case against him entirely. Young on March 7 rejected Conour’s motions to dismiss and for release on bond. “In seeking dismissal … Conour wrongly presumes that he may now challenge his conviction,” Young wrote, noting that only the conditions of supervised release were challenged in Conour’s appeal.

“Conour goes so far as to accuse the government of fabricating the whole scheme and therefore misleading the court,” Young wrote. “Of course, such a brazen accusation does not explain why
Conour, when asked if the allegations in ‘the Information that was filed against [him were] true and accurate,’ responded in the affirmative.”

In his resentencing brief, Conour argues the government failed to prove sentencing enhancements regarding relevant conduct, vulnerable victims, sophisticated means and other factors applied to his fraud conviction. He argues that at the time of resentencing, he “will have been incarcerated 33 months, nearly 6 times the appropriate maximum sentence he should have received.”

“The only appropriate sentence for the Defendant at sentencing is to discharge him from custody for time served and to impose no restitution or fine,” Conour argues. He also claims he is “entitled to the return of all property taken or received by the government for restitution or the fair market value of all such property.”  

Resentencing is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Wednesday in Room 349 of the Birch Bayh Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Indianapolis.


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