Legal Issues

Conour still free after hearing, but judge 'deeply concerned'

June 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
A federal judge has withheld a ruling on revoking the bond for William Conour, the former high-profile personal-injury attorney accused of defrauding 25 or more clients of at least $4.5 million.
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Indiana court wades into coal gas plant dispute

June 6, 2013
Associated Press
The state Supreme Court agreed Thursday to step into a legal fight between backers and opponents of a proposed $2.8 billion coal-gasification plant in southwestern Indiana.
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NCAA wins dismissal of lawsuit over Sandusky fine

June 6, 2013
Bloomberg News
The lawsuit brought by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett failed to show a violation of federal antitrust law, U.S. District Judge Yvette Kane said in her decision throwing out the case.
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First Merchants accused of overdraft fee violations

May 29, 2013
Chris O'Malley
A lawsuit seeking class-action status alleges that the Muncie-based bank manipulated the timing of customers' transactions to cause their checking accounts to bounce more frequently, generating millions of dollars in overdraft fees.
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Former bookkeeper pleads guilty to stealing $680K

May 29, 2013
Associated Press
Fifty-three-year-old Karen Armacost of Franklin admitted to forging hundreds of checks between 2007 and 2012 from the Greenwood Orthopaedics surgical group.
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Against court orders, Conour auctioned art for $10K

May 29, 2013
Dave Stafford
Attorney William Conour, accused of defrauding clients of more than $4.5 million, has admitted to auctioning some of his art collection in an apparent violation of bond conditions.
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Mechanic sues Fisher team for alleged harassment

May 28, 2013
Associated Press
A former mechanic for Sarah Fisher/Hartman Racing says in a lawsuit that he was fired after he complained that a crewmate was sexually harassing him.
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Lawyers scatter as Stewart & Irwin closes doors

May 28, 2013
Scott Olson
Two law firms, including a Chicago practice opening an Indianapolis office, are scooping up attorneys from Stewart & Irwin PC as the 92-year-old local legal institution prepares to end operations.
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Court stays out of Planned Parenthood funding case

May 28, 2013
Associated Press
The Supreme Court will not disturb a lower court ruling that blocks Indiana's effort to strip Medicaid funds from Planned Parenthood because the organization performs abortions.
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City fires indicted DMD employees, hires special attorney

May 24, 2013
 IBJ Staff
The city terminated two employees indicted this week on fraud charges stemming from a bribery scheme involving the Indianapolis Land Bank. It also hired a veteran attorney to review city policies and handle communications about the scheme.
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Convicted ex-coroner hits Brizzi with legal malpractice suit

May 24, 2013
Dave Stafford
Former Hancock County coroner Tamara Vangundy says she paid Carl Brizzi $10,000 for negligent legal advice that ended her career as an elected official.
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Mayor suspends land bank after indictments

May 22, 2013
Associated Press
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard on Wednesday sidelined a city program that sells vacant and tax-delinquent properties, one day after federal prosecutors indicted two of its top officials for allegedly accepting bribes and kickbacks.
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Feds used wire tap, undercover agent in Land Bank probe

May 21, 2013
Cory Schouten
A federal public-corruption task force used a wire tap and an undercover FBI agent to unravel a fraud scheme authorities say was orchestrated by two city employees and three co-conspirators.
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Feds charge 5 in Indy Land Bank kickback scheme

May 21, 2013
Cory Schouten
Federal prosecutors have charged two city employees in the Department of Metropolitan Development and three others in a scheme involving cash kickbacks on the sale of properties in the Indy Land Bank.
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Ex-councilor Bateman sentenced to 27 months in prison

May 20, 2013
 IBJ Staff and Associated Press
Paul C. Bateman Jr. had pleaded guilty in January to his part in defrauding an Indianapolis physician of $1.7 million.
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Canada’s Supreme Court won’t hear Lilly appeal on Zyprexa

May 16, 2013
Bloomberg News
Eli Lilly claims recent decisions by Canadian courts invalidating 17 drug patents have made the country an outlier among major developed countries.
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Court upholds Indiana's limit on civil damages

May 16, 2013
Associated Press
The Indiana Supreme Court has upheld the state law limiting punitive damages awarded in civil lawsuits and directs most of that money to a state victims fund.
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Truck stop mogul says he didn't know of fuel-rebate issues

May 16, 2013
Kathleen McLaughlin
In a speech in Indianapolis, embattled truck stop CEO and Cleveland Browns owner James Haslam took the blame for a lack of oversight in his fuel-sales rebate program, which is the subject of a federal investigation.
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Indianapolis couple charged with mail fraud

May 15, 2013
 IBJ Staff
George Bowman, 43, and Traci L. Bowman, 42, are accused of falsifying purchase records and fraudulently filing insurance claims for expensive construction equipment they never purchased.
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State unlikely to act on push for lower booze level for driving

May 15, 2013
 The Statehouse File
Federal officials are recommending that states reduce the amount of alcohol people can drink and still get behind the wheel. But a key state lawmaker says that's not likely to happen in Indiana.
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National fraternities face more legal risk after court ruling

May 15, 2013
Bloomberg News
An Indiana appeals court ruling regarding the death of a Wabash College freshman may force national fraternities to take more responsibility for misconduct at chapter houses.
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Leader of fraud scheme sentenced to 4-plus years

May 14, 2013
 IBJ Staff
Michael Russell, 54, pleaded guilty in January to 20 counts of wire fraud and money laundering in a scheme involving former Indianapolis City-County Councilor Paul Bateman.
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UPDATE: Brizzi lieutenant agrees to guilty plea in bribery case

May 13, 2013
Cory Schouten
David Wyser, the top deputy under former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi, was charged with bribery for his role in the early release of a woman convicted in a murder-for-hire scheme.
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High court rules against Indiana farmer in patent case

May 13, 2013
Associated Press
The Supreme Court has sustained Monsanto Co.'s claim that an Indiana farmer violated the company's patents on soybean seeds that are resistant to its weed-killer.
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Ruling keeps church ensnared in life insurance nightmareRestricted Content

May 11, 2013
Greg Andrews
A federal bankruptcy judge has slapped down an Anderson church that attempted to blame its bank for a failed scheme to finance church upgrades by buying life insurance policies on its elderly members.
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