Honduras arrests Kentucky lawyer sought in $550-million disability fraud scheme

Marco Green
December 8, 2017

Officials in Honduras say a fugitive Kentucky lawyer who disappeared six months ago after pleading guilty to massive Social Security fraud is on his way back to the United States.

Conn is facing four counts of escape, conspiracy to escape and failure to appear. He was sentenced in absentia in July to 12 years in prison for bribing an administrative law judge, obligating the government to pay more than $550 million in lifetime disability payments.

Conn pleaded guilty in March to charges of theft of government money and payment of gratuities, but fled in June, after he had been placed under house arrest with a Global Positioning System ankle monitor. "He let people like my husband have trust in him, and he let that down".

An indictment unsealed in October alleged that one of his employees opened a bank account Conn used to transfer money, tested security at the Mexican border and bought a pickup truck for use in Conn's escape.

Cronan of the Justice Department's Criminal Division, Special Agent in Charge Amy S. Hess of the FBI's Louisville, Kentucky Field Division and Special Agent in Charge Michael McGill of the Social Security Administration-Office of Inspector General's (SSA-OIG) Philadelphia Field Division made the announcement.

Kentucky-born Eric Conn, 57, who was on the most wanted list of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, was arrested in the coastal city of La Ceiba as he left a restaurant, the Honduran public ministry office said in a statement.

He will stand trial for these new charges in February.

"The first thing I asked him when I saw him was 'Why'd you stop in Honduras?'" White said.

But for hundreds of families in Eastern Kentucky and in West Virginia, the painful legacy of Conn's scam will linger for years.

The Kentucky attorney responsible for the biggest social security scam in US history appeared in federal court Wednesday. Pillersdorf said those hearings are almost complete, and about 700 have been found eligible to maintain the benefits.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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