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Conn pleads guilty to new conspiracy charges before a federal court

An eastern Kentucky attorney, who was already facing 12 years in prison for defrauding the Social Security Administration of more than $550 million, will likely get even more time behind bars.

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Eric Conn, 58, of Pikeville, pleaded guilty on Monday before U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves at U. S. District Court in Lexington to conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to escape and one count of conspiracy to retaliate against an informant. Conn agreed to an additional 15-years in prison served consecutively with his current sentence.

According to the office of the U. S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Conn said he conspired with two former Social Security administrative law judges, several doctors, a clinical psychologist and others, in a scheme to defraud the government, between 2004 and 2017.

Last year, Conn admitted removing his ankle monitor and fleeing the country with the help of an associate. He was captured in Honduras several months later was extradited back to the United States in December.

In a statement, U. S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions commented on the plea. “In this case, the defendant’s scheme fraudulently obligated the Social Security Administration to pay over half a billion dollars in lifetime disability benefits, and then he fled the country.”

Sessions thanked the U. S. and Honduran law enforcement agencies that aided in Conn’s capture. “This case shows yet again that to track down criminals and hold them to account, this Department will cross continents and work with authorities around the globe.”

Former SSA Administrative Law Judge Charlie Paul Andrus pleaded guilty in June 2016 to conspiracy to retaliate against an informant, namely a Social Security employee who discovered the scam and reported it to federal officials. Andrus was sentenced Aug. 7 to six months in prison.

David Black Daugherty, another former administrative law judge, pleaded guilty in May 2017 to two-counts of receiving illegal gratuities, and was sentenced on Aug. 25, 2017, to four years in prison.

Alfred Bradley Adkins, the clinical psychologist, was found guilty following a six-day trial in June 2017 of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, one count of mail fraud, one count of wire fraud, and one count of making false statements. Adkins was sentenced on Sept. 22, 2017, to 25 years in prison.

Curtis Lee Wyatt, Conn’s associate who admitted helping Conn escape, pleaded guilty in March 2018, and is scheduled to be sentenced on June 29.

Conn is scheduled to have his formal sentencing on Sep. 7 in U. S. District Court in Lexington.

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