A fugitive con artist attorney from Kentucky who is at the center of a Social Security fraud case of more than $600 million has left the US with a phony passport. He allegedly has found a job overseas in a country that lacks an extradition treaty with the United States.
The disability attorney ironically named Eric Conn told the Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader by email that he left the US to avoid prosecution and is in a country that will not extradite him back to America.
The newspaper reported this week that it attempted to verify the con artist attorney’s personal information by asking questions that only he could answer. These include his Social Security number and details about one of his marriages. He answered all of the questions correctly.
Conn’s attorney, Scott White, also reported that he has gotten emails that came from the identical address of the person it is believed is Conn.
Many people think that Conn, who was on home detention in early June but ran, has money to live on in accounts he has overseas. Conn claimed in the email that this is not true. He stated that the money he sent abroad was spent months ago.
The person who claims to be the fugitive has sent the Kentucky paper several electronic emails since he left the US.
The FBI has not responded to media requests asking whether it thinks that the latest tranche of emails are coming from Conn.
Conn began his legal practice out of a trailer 25 years ago and he built it into one of the most profitable disability law firms in the US.
He portrayed himself in TV ads as Mr. Social Security, and he routinely aired outlandish television ads, and used small scale replicas of the Lincoln Memorial and the Statue of Liberty in his ads.
However, his legal empire collapsed when federal agents discovered that the attorney was engaging in bribes and fraud. He gave money to a doctor and a judge to get them to approve many disability claims that were based upon fraudulent medical evidence.
In his federal plea deal in March, he agreed to pay the US government nearly $6 million and to reimburse the Social Security Administration $46 million. A federal judge further ordered Conn to pay $12 million in financial damages and a $19 million penalty to the US government and two ex-SS workers who exposed the fraud.
Conn also faces a personal liability judgement in a class action suit that was filed by former clients.
Conn speaks several languages and has left the US and come back at least 140 times in the past 10 years. He has told several people that he would leave the US on a fake passport rather than spend time behind bars. He told the media via email that Conn used his time under house arrest to learn a foreign language that is helping him to live abroad.
Conn gave up his real passport in April 2016 after he was indicted. An accomplice who lives outside the US helped him to get a fake passport, according to one of the emails that allegedly came from Conn.
He said that the day after he cut the home monitor off in his home, he used the phony documents to fly out of the United States. He referred in one email to the country being on another continent but he did not mention the name.
Conn further claimed that he left the US on a commercial flight with no major problems, but he did not say from which airport he left the US. He mentioned that he deceived federal agents; he noted that he used a credit card to purchase a ticket out of JFK airport in New York City, but he would never have left from there because he was sure the FBI was watching is financial transactions.
He then used another pre-paid credit card to buy another ticket. That is the one he used to flee the US. Conn also noted that leaving the US successfully to be untraceable was difficult and required serious preparation. A major factor in his success to date was that he did not ask anyone in the US for help. That way they could not be pressured to tell where Conn went.
Conn claims that he asked for assistance from those in other countries that cannot be prosecuted by federal agents. He said he has been fortunate to make friendships with these types of people.
Regarding his current way of supporting himself, Conn said that one of the people who helped get him out of the country gave him a job. It does not have a high salary but he noted that he works for a cause in which he believes. He said that it is not a typical legal job.
According to the FBI website, the bureau will pay a reward of up to $20,000 for information that leads to Conn’s arrest. The site states that he is accused of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, and making false statements.
Conn’s Original Con Duped the SS Administration Out of Millions
Conn stands accused as a ringleader in one of the largest Social Security disability fraud scams in American history. He pleaded guilty this year to filing at least 1700 phony disability applications, possibly stealing at least $500 million from federal taxpayers.
The Social Security Administration stated this year that it is still struggling how to handle all of the applicants. Many say that although Conn conned them, they have real disability cases and they should not be financially punished for Conn’s misdeeds.
Conn Facing Several Serious Federal Charges
Conn is facing serious charges of fraud. One of them is wire fraud, which has serious consequences if it is proven in federal court. Wire fraud is a broad category of crimes that focuses upon the intentional deception being committed to make a material gain, through the use of telecommunications equipment and devices, including TV, Internet, wire and radio.
Wire fraud usually includes some aspect that occurs across state lines, so most wire fraud will be prosecuted at the federal level in the US.
The most common type of wire fraud is any form of this fraud that is done with TV, radio, Internet or wire across state lines or in another country, without any further aggravating factors.
If Conn is ever brought back to the US to face federal charges of wire fraud and other forms of fraud, he could face up to 20 years in prison.