The locals called him Mr. Social Security. He drove a Rolls Royce and sat on the United States Social Security Advisory Board. His televisions commercials were almost legendary in Pikeville, Kentucky.
Today, he’s nowhere to be found. Law enforcement is looking for Eric C. Conn, the once-hailed Pikeville attorney. In March, he pleaded guilty to charges relating to a Social Security fraud scheme that cost taxpayers $500 million.
Conn awaited his upcoming sentence on bond but had to wear an electronic monitoring device. As of June 3, 2017, law enforcement has no idea where Conn is. He removed his electronic device and disappeared.
The charges against Conn include stealing from Social Security and bribing a judge to approve disability claims for his clients. He faces twelve years in prison if police ever catch up with him and possibly new charges for running from justice. As part of the plea he agreed to pay $5.7 million to the U.S. government and another $46 million directly to Social Security. He also owes another $12 million and $19 million in damages and penalties because of two Social Security employees who tried to blow the whistle.
Conn’s con used a doctor who agreed to create bad medical reports for his clients. Then, the judge signed off on the fraudulent applications for a cut of the action. The judge and doctor face charges, too. Suffice it to say that Conn’s legal practice, which he began in 1993, is over.
State’s attorney Ned Pillersdorf says it’s not surprising that Conn fled. He expressed surprise that the court allowed him bond in the first place. He even joked about a betting pool as to when Conn would depart.
A coworker of Conn’s reported that Conn said he would head to Cuba or Ecuador rather than go to prison. He had a history of world traveling that the state’s attorney believed made him a flight risk. Conn also moved money to offshore accounts before taking off. U.S. attorneys believe that Conn has the money to hide for a long time.
Conn’s attorneys successfully secured his bond by convincing the court that Conn would have fled when charges were first filed if he was going to flee at all. Conn bragged in his advertising he doesn’t back down from a fight. Today, he’s on the FBI’s Most Wanted list for white-collar crime.