Kentucky lawyer wanted for massive Social Security fraud captured in Honduras, officials say

A Kentucky disability attorney in a more than $ 500 million Social Security fraud case’s center, that became the subject of a huge manhunt after he vanished months ago, has been seized from Honduras, officials announced Monday.

A SWAT team seized Eric Conn as he came from a restaurant at the city of La Ceiba, the Honduras public magistrate & rsquooffice said in a news release . The office added that the arrest was “the item of surveillance intelligence and tailing by the agents. ”

U.S. federal agents spent months monitoring Conn, who cut off his electronic track in June. The attorney was on home detention while awaiting sentencing, but he disappeared while at Lexington, Kentucky, in the permission of authorities to meet with his attorney and prosecutors.

Tens of thousands were represented by Conn in claims for Social Security benefits. The majority of his customers in the coalfields of eastern Kentucky and West Virginia had to fight to try to keep their disability tests.

Conn pleaded guilty in March to bribing a judge from the enormous Social Security fraud instance and stealing from the government. When he was given a prison term his sentencing went on without him last summer — the maximum possible.

Monday, the FBI office in Louisville, Kentucky, failed to confirm the arrest. Conn’s attorney, Scott White, said he’d had no communication from the U.S.

“If actually Eric has been lawfully captured and is lawfully returned, then, as I told you in June, that comes as no surprise … that the FBI usually gets their guy,” White said. Conn is expected to be moved to the U.S. on Tuesday, according to the Honduran public magistrate’s office.

He is shown by A photograph of Conn distributed by the office using reddish-gray hair and a blue polo shirt sitting in a desk, using a police agent and carrying an assault gun.

Conn, who began his own law practice in a trailer in 1993, had depicted himself as “Mr. Social Security. ” He fueled that persona in southern Kentucky with small-scale replicas of the Statue of Liberty and the Lincoln Museum in his office and eccentric TV commercials.

When investigators discovered he was bribing a physician and judge to approve disability claims according to proof that was fake his empire crumbled.

An eastern Kentucky attorney who’s currently representing hundreds of Conn & rsquo; s customers, Ned Pillersdorf, said Conn’s strategy caused a “catastrophe that was authentic. ”

“With his catch, I’m hoping we can get this ordeal behind us, place him in prison where he belongs and begin to undo the damage he’s done to his former customers,” Pillersdorf said in a telephone interview Monday night.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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