Courts

Assets of attorney in fraud case have gone missing, feds say

May 3, 2013
Dave Stafford
After being charged with defrauding clients, Indianapolis attorney William Conour was ordered not to dispose of his personal property. But much of it is now missing, including art, furniture, sports memorabilia and bottles of expensive champagne, according to court filings.
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Overhaul of sentencing laws heading to governor

April 26, 2013
Associated Press
The Senate voted 34-15 on Friday in favor of the bill aimed at sending fewer nonviolent offenders to prison.
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Sheridan businessman gets 8-year term for fraud

March 28, 2013
Associated Press
U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett issued the 97-month prison term to Lowell Hancher of Hamilton County. The Sheridan businessman pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of securities fraud.
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White blames Brizzi for his voter fraud conviction

March 21, 2013
Associated Press
Former Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White said in court documents Thursday that his attorney didn't mount any defense to protect him from the conviction that forced him from office.
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Marsh Supermarkets asking former CEO to pay $5.6M

February 15, 2013
Scott Olson, Cory Schouten
A company lawyer itemized the expenses Marsh Supermarkets believes it is owed during closing arguments Friday. A lawyer for Don Marsh argued that he neither committed fraud nor breached his contract.
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Jury to begin deliberating in Don Marsh trial

February 15, 2013
Scott Olson
The panel of nine will begin closed-door discussions Friday afternoon following closing arguments from attorneys representing Marsh Supermarkets Inc. and the former CEO of the company accused of spending $3.3 million of company funds on personal expenses.
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Witnesses: Don Marsh’s expenses never questioned

February 14, 2013
Scott Olson

Lawyers for the former CEO of Marsh Supermarkets on Thursday hammered home their claims his expenses were widely accepted in the company as normal business costs, while witness testimony revealed a corporate culture that passed the buck on evaluating those costs.

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Don Marsh says he owes more than $500,000 in back taxes

February 7, 2013
Scott Olson
The disclosure came during the fourth day of Don Marsh's civil trial. The locally based supermarket chain is alleging he used company funds to pay more than $3 million in personal expenses.
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Bales trial in jury's hands after colorful closings

February 7, 2013
Cory Schouten
During three hours of closing arguments Wednesday in the federal fraud trial of real estate broker John M. Bales and William E. Spencer, a federal prosecutor and two top-tier Indianapolis defense attorneys delivered a series of memorable one-liners and rhetorical flourishes designed to stick with jurors.
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Defense rests in Bales trial after flurry of witnesses

February 6, 2013
Cory Schouten
Closing arguments are expected to begin Wednesday afternoon in the federal fraud trial of Indianapolis real estate broker John M. Bales and partner William E. Spencer after the defense raced through seven witnesses Tuesday and early Wednesday.
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UPDATE: Jet trips during affairs were also for business, Marsh testifies

February 5, 2013
Scott Olson
In a day on the witness stand, former Marsh Supermarkets Inc. CEO Don Marsh told jurors during his fraud trial Tuesday that he's not proud of his extramarital affairs, but he insisted the private jet trips he took to visit his mistresses were business-related.
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FBI agent references Brizzi in Bales trial testimony

February 5, 2013
Cory Schouten
Federal prosecutors rested their fraud case against John M. Bales and partner William E. Spencer on Monday after a full day of testimony from FBI Special Agent Brian Percival that included several references to former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi.
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Marsh to call former CEO as first witness

February 4, 2013
Scott Olson
The lead lawyer for Marsh Supermarkets Inc. expects to call Don Marsh as its first witness when the civil trial against him reconvenes Tuesday. The grocery chain alleges that the former CEO used company funds to pay more than $3 million in personal expenses.
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Defense attorneys turn tough in Bales trial

February 1, 2013
Cory Schouten
The legal team representing real estate broker John M. Bales and partner William E. Spencer haven't called their first witness and already they're putting up a spirited fight as federal prosecutors seek to prove 13 charges including bank, mail and wire fraud.
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Former Venture employee turns on Bales during testimony

January 31, 2013
Cory Schouten
An FBI investigation into Venture Real Estate Services and principals John Bales and Bill Spencer had already begun when Matthew Dyer signed on as the company's controller in December 2009. Bales told him the company had done nothing illegal, Dyer testified Wednesday.
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Defense attorneys in Bales case trash former co-defendant

January 30, 2013
Cory Schouten
Attorney and developer Paul J. Page is no longer a co-defendant in the fraud trial of real estate broker John M. Bales and partner Bill Spencer. But you wouldn't know it from the action Tuesday in U.S. District Court. Only now, rather than federal prosecutors, it's defense attorneys for Bales and Spencer who are targeting Page.
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Bales defense: Elkhart deal was a 'scheme to help'

January 29, 2013
Cory Schouten
Facing a looming deadline to find suitable office space for the state Department of Child Services, Indianapolis real estate broker John M. Bales and partner Bill Spencer in 2008 dipped into their own pockets to help close a difficult lease deal, their defense attorneys contend.
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Bales' trial could turn on definition of ownershipRestricted Content

January 26, 2013
Cory Schouten
The jury trial in South Bend for real estate developer John Bales and his general counsel, William E. Spencer, is scheduled to begin Jan. 28 and last up to two weeks. Bales and Spencer, both 45, are facing 13 counts, including wire and mail fraud.
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Vectren digs in to fight gas plantRestricted Content

January 12, 2013
Chris O'Malley
A synthetic natural gas plant proposed downstate need only tweak its contract with would-be gas purchaser Indiana Finance Authority to comply with an October court ruling and to proceed with the project, Indiana Gasification said in a recent filing with the Indiana Court of Appeals. But opponents of the plant, led by Evansville-based gas and electric utility Vectren, immediately objected.
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Blood drawn from cop after crash OK for trial

December 10, 2012
Associated Press
The Indiana Supreme Court on Monday let stand a ruling saying blood was drawn properly from an allegedly intoxicated Indianapolis police officer after a 2010 fatal crash. But the officer's attorney said it's uncertain whether the evidence can be introduced at trial.
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Judge orders new venue for officer in fatal crash

December 6, 2012
Associated Press
Marion County Judge Grant Hawkins said the case surrounding David Bisard had generated too much publicity for him to get a fair trial in central Indiana.
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Successful Durham appeal unlikely, outside lawyers say

December 3, 2012
Scott Olson
Local criminal defense lawyers who tracked the trial of Tim Durham and his accomplices say chances are slim that they would prevail on appeal. One said Durham would have a better chance of winning the lottery.
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Durham gets 50 years for fraud scheme

November 30, 2012
Greg Andrews, Scott Olson, Cory Schouten
Former Indianapolis businessman Tim Durham was sentenced to 50 years in prison for running a Ponzi scheme that led to the collapse of Fair Finance, costing thousands of investors $250 million. Accomplices Jim Cochran and Rick Snow received 25 years and 10 years, respectively.
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Fraud victims detail losses before Durham's sentencing

November 30, 2012
Scott Olson
A 74-year-old former nun who cares for young children to earn a living after being swindled out of her life savings and a woman whose father lost $170,000 in proceeds from the sale of his farm testified against Tim Durham and his two fraud accomplices Friday morning.
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Church's fate in judge's hands after insurance scheme sours

November 28, 2012
Cory Schouten
A federal judge will determine whether an Anderson church can exit bankruptcy with a lighter debt load, over objections from its bank lender, after a church scheme to profit by selling life insurance on its elderly members failed.
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