Conn was sentenced in absentia last summer to 12 years for stealing from the government and bribing a judge in a more than $500 million Social Security fraud case. Conn arrived in Lexington, Kentucky, late Tuesday afternoon.
White told the Herald-Leader that if Conn hadn't fled, he might have been able to reduce his 12-year sentence to nine or 10 years and serve 85 percent of the total.
Eric Christopher Conn, 57, of Pikeville, Kentucky, and his alleged accomplice, Curtis Lee Wyatt, were charged in connection with Conn's escape in a seven-count indictment returned on September 6, 2017, in the Eastern District of Kentucky in Lexington. "I never thought they would catch him". Since Conn's escape, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has worked diligently with U.S. Probation, the U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the SSA-OIG, the Kentucky State Police, Lexington Police, Pikeville Police, University of Kentucky Police, and the Luna County (New Mexico) Sheriff's Office to locate and apprehend him.
Eric Conn was captured by a SWAT team as he came out of a restaurant in the coastal city of La Ceiba, the Honduras public magistrate's office said Monday, crediting "arduous intelligence, surveillance and tailing by the agents".
Ned Pillersdorf, an attorney representing many of Conn's former clients, has said Conn caused a "true humanitarian crisis". "Let's just say that all those people where frauds, because that's what the government calculated the penalty on".
Conn is charged along with his former employee, Curtis Wyatt, of planning and executing the June 2 escape where Conn, who was on house arrest, cut off his Global Positioning System ankle monitor and ultimately left the country.
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Conn pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to four charges in connection with his escape.
One of Conn's former employees, Curtis Lee Wyatt, is facing charges of helping in Conn's escape.
Conn, who started his law practice in a trailer in 1993, had portrayed himself as "Mr. Social Security." He fueled that flamboyant persona with outlandish TV commercials and small-scale replicas of the Statue of Liberty and the Lincoln Memorial at his office in eastern Kentucky.
But in reality, he ran a criminal group whose members included doctors and judges, authorities said.
Donna Dye's husband, Timothy, was among the throngs of Conn's clients who had to fight to keep their disability checks. Timothy Dye went on disability for chronic arthritis after working decades in coal mines. "My husband's gone through hell".
After pleading guilty to charges including conspiracy, mail and wire fraud and making false statements, Conn agreed to testify against other indicted members of the corrupt ring, according to federal agents. As part of the fallout, the Social Security Administration identified about 1,500 beneficiaries who were made to undergo hearings, he said.
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