Indianapolis Attorney Charged with Defrauding Clients of More Than $2.5 Million
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 27, 2012|
INDIANAPOLIS—Indianapolis attorney William F. Conour has been charged in a federal criminal complaint with misappropriating more than $2.5 million in client funds. Conour, 64, surrendered himself to federal authorities this morning and made his initial court appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch in Indianapolis.
The charges were announced by Jim Lewis, U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois; and Robert J. Holley, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, Indianapolis Division.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana has been recused in this matter. The U.S. Attorney General appointed the Central District of Illinois to handle the case prosecution. The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard N. Cox, Central District of Illinois, Urbana Division.
According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Conour has practiced law in Indiana under the firm name Conour Law Firm LLC, as well as Conour Daly, Conour Devereux, and Conour Devereux Hammond. According to court documents, Conour focuses his law practice on construction liability cases involving serious injury and death.
The complaint alleges that Conour engaged in a scheme to defraud his clients from December 2000 to March 2012 using newly obtained settlement funds to pay old settlements and debts. The affidavit alleges that Conour kept a majority of his clients’ settlement proceeds for his own use and benefit and that the full amount of client settlements were not deposited into client “trust” accounts. Instead, Conour allegedly funded the trusts on a yearly basis with funds only sufficient to enable the client to receive monthly payments for a year.
In addition, as alleged in the complaint affidavit, in one instance, Conour did not inform a client that a money settlement had been accepted and received on the client’s behalf, and the client has not received any of the settlement proceeds. Instead, Conour allegedly converted the client’s settlement funds to his own use and benefit.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance provided by the Indiana State Police, is conducting the investigation. If you believe you may be a victim of Mr. Conour’s alleged criminal conduct, you may call a toll-free FBI hotline: 1-877-542-8979.
The government did not seek the defendant’s detention at today’s hearing, and Conour was released on his own recognizance with conditions, including that he cannot sell, transfer, encumber, or otherwise dispose of his personal or business assets without court approval.
If convicted, the offense of wire fraud carries a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Members of the public are reminded that a complaint is merely an accusation; the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.