Crime FBI: Fugitive lawyer Eric Conn spotted in New Mexico

08:05  15 july  2017
08:05  15 july  2017 Source:   USA TODAY

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The FBI said the weeks-old photos showed Eric Conn at a gas station and a Walmart in New Mexico . The photos were revealed on the same day the flamboyant disability lawyer was supposed to be in federal court to face sentencing. A fugitive Kentucky lawyer at the center of a nearly 0 million

(AP) — Federal agents tracking a fugitive Kentucky lawyer involved in a massive Social Security fraud case released surveillance photos Friday indicating that his escape route took him to New Mexico . The FBI said the weeks-old photos showed Eric Conn at a gas station and a Walmart in New Mexico .

This FBI says this surveillance photo shows Eric Conn at a gas station in New Mexico.© FBI This FBI says this surveillance photo shows Eric Conn at a gas station in New Mexico.

LOUISVILLE — A fugitive lawyer from Kentucky who was convicted of stealing millions of dollars from Social Security has been spotted at a gas station and Walmart store in New Mexico, the FBI says.

Eric Conn of Floyd County was sentenced in absentia Friday to 12 years in prison and ordered to pay nearly $170 million in restitution.

Conn, who was convicted of defrauding the government out of $550 million in Social Security disability payments, fled last month from Lexington, and the FBI says it has obtained surveillance video showing him at the store and station.

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Fugitive disability lawyer Eric Conn wanted over 0m Social Security fraud says he has fled the US using a fake passport, has spent all of his ill-gotten gains and even has a new job. The FBI did not respond to a request Sunday seeking comment on whether it believes the latest emails are from Conn .

(AP) - Federal authorities searching for a fugitive Kentucky lawyer involved in a massive Social Security fraud case have released surveillance photos that they Hess says the FBI traced the truck to New Mexico , where it was abandoned. She says there's no indication Conn crossed into Mexico .

The FBI said it discovered that Conn fled using a truck owned and registered by an unnamed co-conspirator to a dummy company in Montana, and that the co-conspirator also supplied him with other materials.

The statement said there is no evidence that Conn has crossed the border into Mexico.

Amy Hess, the special agent in charge of the Louisville field office, said the FBI is working diligently to bring him to justice and that his flight from prosecution has “diminished any legitimacy and integrity he once held as an attorney and officer of the court.”

She said the FBI is seizing bank accounts and disrupting other means of support while pursuing law enforcement action against co-conspirators in his flight

The FBI has announced a reward of $20,000 for information leading to Conn’s arrest and released the surveillance photos of him Friday.

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Fugitive Eastern Kentucky lawyer Eric Conn used a truck owned by an accomplice to escape sentencing in his federal fraud case, showing up with a shaved head a few days later at a Walmart and a convenience store in New Mexico , the FBI said Friday.

In this undated photo released by the FBI on July 14, 2017, Kentucky lawyer Eric Conn is seen on security footage at a New Mexico gas station. Conn , who pleaded guilty in March to stealing from the federal more.

“It is in the best interest of anyone helping him to cooperate with law enforcement and avoid criminal charges for providing aid to him,” she said.

Conn’s electronic ankle monitoring device was found June 2 in a backpack on Interstate 75 in Lexington. He had been released on bond pending his sentencing.

Conn, 56, pleaded guilty in March to one count of stealing from the Social Security Administration and one count of paying illegal gratuities to a federal judge. He admitted he submitted false documentation for clients seeking disability payments and that he paid off a federal administrative law judge who approved the claims.

The federal rules of criminal procedure generally require criminal defendants to be present at all stages of a case, but there is an exception for when they voluntarily absent themselves.

Conn, who started his law practice in a trailer in 1993, portrayed himself as “Mr. Social Security.” He fueled that persona with outlandish TV commercials and small-scale replicas of the Statue of Liberty and the Lincoln Memorial at his office in eastern Kentucky.

Conn represented thousands in successful claims for Social Security benefits. Many of his clients in the impoverished coalfields of eastern Kentucky and West Virginia have fought to keep their disability checks.

Contributing: The Associated Press; follow Andrew Wolfson on Twitter: @adwolfson

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