INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Dozens of clients swindled by a former Indianapolis attorney will split an additional $100,000 in donations, approved Monday by the Indiana State Bar Association.
The 24 victims were all clients of William Conour, 67, whose law practice focused on vehicle accidents and construction liability cases involving serious injury or death. Conour was disbarred by the Indiana Supreme Court in June 2012 after he was convicted of defrauding his clients of more than $4.5 million between 1999 and April 2012.
He pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges in 2013 and is currently serving a 10 year sentence in federal prison. Conour was also ordered to pay more than $6.7 million in restitution to his victims.
According to court documents, Conour schemed for more than a decade to keep a majority of his clients’ settlement proceeds for his own use and benefit. Instead of depositing the full amount of the settlements into client trust accounts, Conour only provided funds enabling the client to receive monthly payments for a year, the charges alleged. He also used newly obtained settlement funds to pay old settlements and debts in what prosecutors deemed a sort of Ponzi scheme.
“Regrettably, Conour’s conduct hurt a lot of people and has had a negative impact on the practice of law,” said Thomas E. Irons, chairman of the Indiana State Bar Association Clients’ Financial Assistance Fund (CFAF) said in a written statement Monday. “I hope that payouts like these can help to ease the burden of victims caused by dishonest attorneys and emphasize the strong commitment of the State Bar to the public.”
Member lawyers of the ISBA have voluntarily contributed money to the CFAF fund each year since 1962 to cover a portion of losses suffered by clients of dishonest attorneys.