Defiant Conour sentenced to 10 years for third time

Disgraced former Indianapolis attorney William Conour has been resentenced to 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud — the same conviction that was originally imposed on him five years ago.

Conour, a former personal injury and wrongful death attorney, appeared before Indiana Southern District Judge Richard Young on Thursday for his second resentencing. The former attorney pleaded guilty in 2013 to stealing settlements from 36 former clients and using the funds to support a lavish lifestyle. He was sentenced to 10 years and $6.5 million in restitution the same year.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals remanded Conour’s case for resentencing in 2016, and again late last year, when the appellate court found he was not given the opportunity to allocute. Though he told Young at a status hearing earlier this month that he was seeking counsel, Conour appeared pro se Thursday after he was unable to hire an attorney and declined a federal defender.

When asked if he had any objections to the court’s findings, which were based on a presentence investigation report, Conour launched into an hour-long presentation detailing why he believed the millions of dollars in loss to his clients that was assessed against him was inaccurate. Young, however, appeared puzzled by Conour’s presentation in light of his earlier guilty plea and repeatedly asked the defendant whether he wanted to withdraw his guilty plea. He also noted that Conour’s presentation seemed to indicate that he was not taking responsibility for his actions.

In response, Conour repeatedly became visibly exasperated with the judge and told him he was entitled to make legal arguments to mitigate his sentence. He also repeatedly noted that those arguments should not be taken to mean he was failing to take responsibility for the actions he pleaded guilty to. When the fraudster was not satisfied with Young’s response to his presentation, he told the judge that his uncertainty could be taken as the judge saying, “I’ll show you what happens when you appeal.”

In the end, Young was undeterred by Conour’s objections, overruled each of them and imposed the same amount of time served and restitution as his been imposed at the last two sentencing hearings. Members of Conour’s family, who were seated in the courtroom, shook their heads and cried as the hearing proceeded.

The former attorney was escorted out of the courtroom in handcuffs and a chain around his waist. He will be transported back to the federal prison in Morgantown, West Virginia. The Bureau of Prisons says Conour, 70, is not scheduled for release until March 2022.

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