White-Collar Crime

Lawyer Faces Wire Fraud Case; Feds Say He Used Client Funds to Cover Law Firm and Personal Expenses

An Indianapolis lawyer is facing a federal wire fraud charge after allegedly misappropriating $2.5 million in client funds by operating his construction liability practice in a manner akin to a Ponzi scheme over an 11-year period.

William F. Conour, 64, is accused of keeping a majority of the settlement money he won for clients between the end of 2000 and March 2012 rather than depositing the funds into a client trust account, the Indianapolis Star reports.

He used the money to pay law firm and personal expenses, according to the criminal complaint and a supporting affidavit (PDF), which are provided by the Indiana Law Blog.

Meanwhile, he allegedly kept clients mollified by making monthly payments.

The IndyStar article doesn’t include any comment from Conour or his counsel.

The case is being federally prosecuted in the Central District of Illinois, rather than Indianapolis, because Conour previously was married to an employee of the Southern District of Indiana and the office has recused itself from the case.

He was released on his own recognizance after a Friday court appearance in Indianapolis and will have an opportunity to enter a plea at a later date.

An FBI press release provides further details.

Related coverage:

Indiana Law Blog: “Ind. Courts–Longtime Indiana Super Lawyer allegedly misappropriated more than $2.5 million in client funds for his own use”

Super Lawyers: “Welcome Back, Conour”

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