CHARLESTON – A former Social Security disability attorney who defrauded the Social Security system of more than one-half billion dollars has been captured in Honduras.
Eric Conn, who was a Kentucky attorney, fled the country in June and was sentenced to 12 years in prison in absentia. He was also ordered to pay more than $100 million in restitution to Social Security and Medicare, along with $5.7 million to the U.S. Department of Justice. He also received a $50,000 fine.
Before fleeing, Conn had been under house arrest. He cut off his ankle monitor one month before his sentencing hearing and left it in a backpack along Interstate 75 in Lexington, Ky.
The Honduras public magistrate’s office said in a press release that Conn was captured by a SWAT team as he came out of a restaurant in La Ceiba. The office called the arrest “the product of arduous intelligence, surveillance and tailing by agents.”
Scott White, Conn’s attorney, released a statement regarding the matter.
“If in fact Eric has been lawfully captured and is legally returned, then ... this comes as no surprise,” White said in the statement. “The FBI usually gets their man.”
The public magistrate’s office said Conn is expected to be transferred to the U.S. today.
Conn is wanted for his part in a $550 million Social Security fraud scheme, which is the largest fraud case in the history of the Social Security program.
He pleaded guilty in March to stealing from the federal government and bribing a judge.
The man accused of aiding Conn in his escape, Curtis Lee Wyatt, was scheduled to go to trial later this month, but a judge granted a motion to continue the trial for better defense investigation into the case and to consider whether to proceed to trial.
Wyatt's counsel also noted a pending motion to separate his case from Conn's, which has remained unanswered due to Conn's disappearance. The trial is now set for Feb. 12, 2018.
According to an indictment returned against the pair, Wyatt assisted Conn by assessing security checkpoints at the Mexican border and purchasing a truck Conn later used to escape home confinement prior to his sentencing.