A family financially victimized by convicted fraudster and former personal-injury and wrongful-death attorney William Conour has received an award of $358,069 in a suit filed by a former Conour creditor.
Judge Tanya Walton Pratt entered final judgment this week in favor of David L. Beals Sr., Loretta Beals and Kristen Beals. The Bealses were injured in a deadly crash when their vehicle was hit by a tractor-trailer, leaving daughter Kristen permanently disabled.
Conour won a settlement for the family, but he is alleged to have stolen some $800,000 that was to be paid to them in monthly structured settlement installments of $1,677 through the year 2047. He was convicted of wire fraud in 2013, sentenced to 10 years in federal prison and ordered to repay more than $6 million to three dozen former clients from whom he stole settlement proceeds.
Pratt’s ruling came on remand from the 7th Circuit, which in June reversed her denial of the Bealses’ motion to intervene in the case and ordered judgment in their favor. The 7th Circuit found Indiana law gives fraud victims priority over creditors, and the panel also slashed Pratt’s $775,000 award in ACF 2006 Corp v. Timothy Devereux, 1:13-cv?01286.
ACF had extended a line of credit to a former Conour law firm on which he defaulted. The creditor sued Indianapolis attorney Timothy Devereux, who had left a Conour firm and continued to represent clients who followed him to Ladendorf Law. The award to the Bealses represents a division of attorney fees attributable to the work Devereux would have done on these cases while with the Conour firm.
Devereux has said the firm has put the legal fees in trust awaiting resolution of the case. “We’ve always said from Day One we prefer to see the money go to victims instead of a finance company,” he told Indiana Lawyer after the 7th Circuit denied ACF’s request for rehearing.
“We represent victims and we like to see them compensated when wrong has been done to them,” he said.