Lawyer convicted in $550M Social Security fraud captured in Honduras

By Allen Cone  |  Updated Dec. 5, 2017 at 12:46 PM
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Dec. 5 (UPI) -- A fugitive lawyer was captured in Honduras after being convicted in a $550 million Social Security fraud case and fleeing Kentucky six months ago.

Eric Conn, who escaped house arrest in Lexington, has spent the last three months in Honduras after traveling in Mexico and Guatemala, the Honduras newspaper El Pais reported.

A national police SWAT team apprehended Conn at 5:30 p.m. Monday.

Conn, 57, was to be brought back to the U.S. on Tuesday.

Conn, who called himself "Mr. Social Security," was seized while leaving a restaurant in the northern Honduras city of La Ceiba by agents following him for several weeks, the El Heraldo reported.

"It does appear from the reporting that Eric was taken into custody by some uniformed group in Honduras," Conn's lawyer, Scott White, said in an email Monday night to the Courier Journal. "But, given the security situation in Honduras and the dangerous gangs operating there as has been reported as recently as the last few weeks in relation to its election, then who knows who these masked folks are, for whom they work, or if Eric has even been lawfully seized. Those may or may not be issues for either our courts or the Honduran courts."

The attorney said it "comes as no surprise ... the FBI usually gets their man."

The FBI offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to his arrest and seized bank accounts.

In March, Conn pleaded guilty to stealing from the federal government and bribing a judge.

While on house arrest, he disappeared June 2 and his electronic ankle monitoring device was found in a backpack on Interstate 75 in Lexington.

In July, the FBI said Conn was spotted at a gas station and a Walmart store in New Mexico. At the time, he wasn't believed to have crossed the border into Mexico.

He was sentenced in absentia in July to 12 years in prison and ordered to pay nearly $170 million in restitution in a scheme to rig disability hearings for Conn's clients, $50,000 fine and a forfeiture judgment of $5,750,404.

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