- Eric Conn, the flamboyant Eastern Kentucky lawyer who pleaded guilty in March in a $600 million Social Security fraud scheme, has disappeared
- Conn removed his electronic monitoring device in violation of his bond and authorities don't know where is is
- He pleaded guilty to stealing from the Social Security Administration and paying bribes to a judge to rubber-stamp disability claims for thousands of his clients
- Conn remained free on bond pending his sentencing next month, but a judge had ordered him to be on home detention with electronic monitoring
- Employees in Conn’s office had heard him say he would flee to Cuba or Ecuador to avoid criminal charges
- Conn is believed to have wired substantial sums of money out of the country
Eric C. Conn, a flamboyant Kentucky lawyer who billed himself as 'Mr. Social Security,' was indicted on allegations in March that he made millions by paying a doctor and a judge to rubber-stamp false disability claims using phony medical evidence.
He was ordered to pay back tens of millions of dollars and was due to be sentenced next month.
Bit now the FBI said has revealed that Conn violated the conditions of his bond by removing his electronic monitoring device prompting the U.S. District Court to issue a warrant for his arrest.
General counsel for the FBI's Louisville office, David Habich, said that Conn's 'whereabouts are currently unknown.'
Conn was charged with designing an intricate scheme and using his expertise and positions of authority, to fraudulently induce payment of $600 million in federal disability and healthcare benefits,' Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell said at the time.
Incredibly, Conn had escaped legal consequence for years, even after the Social Security Administration last summer cut off disability payments to hundreds of his clients in the impoverished coalfields of eastern Kentucky and West Virginia.
Conn continued to practice law and remains in good standing with the Kentucky Bar Association.
In 2013, the U.S. Senate released a scathing report titled 'How Some Legal, Medical and Judicial Professionals Abused Social Security Disability Programs for the Country's Most Vulnerable: A Case Study of the Conn Law Firm.'
It accused Conn of paying the doctors, whom he called his 'whore doctors,' to sign dubious medical reports showing his clients were disabled. The claims were then approved by another doctor,often without a hearing.
At the time of his arrest, the federal prosecutor, Trey Alford, argued against Conn's release, saying he poses a flight risk and has indicated he would flee, that he has transferred money overseas, including in others' names to make it harder to track, and that his home is for sale.
Such fears now appear to have been well founded.
Conn opened his practice in a trailer in 1993 in his hometown of Stanville, Kentucky, population 500, according to the Senate investigation.
From there he built the third-most lucrative disability firm in the nation, bringing in more than $20 million in fees between 2001 and 2013.
He became a local celebrity for his over-the-top advertising campaigns. He dispatched crews of 'Conn Hotties' to events, hired Miss Kentucky to appear in commercials and had a 19-foot replica of the Lincoln Memorial erected in the parking lot of his office.
A senate investigation alleges Conn's firm shredded 26,000 pounds of documents, more than 2.5 million sheets of paper, and destroyed more in a bonfire behind his office that burned for four days.
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Attorney called Mr Conn who stole $600m worth of social security from the government VANISHES one month before his sentencing