Crime FBI: Fugitive lawyer Eric Conn spotted in New Mexico

08:05  15 july  2017
08:05  15 july  2017 Source:   usatoday.com

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The FBI says that fugitive lawyer Eric Conn has been spotted at a gas station and Walmart store in New Mexico . The disgraced Floyd County attorney was sentenced in absentia Friday to 12 years in prison and ordered to pay nearly 0 million in restitution.

Home News Local News FBI : Eric Conn spotted in New Mexico . LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ)- The FBI has released new surveillance photos they say show fugitive lawyer Eric Conn at a gas station and Walmart in New Mexico .

This FBI says this surveillance photo shows Eric Conn at a gas station in New Mexico.© FBI This FBI says this surveillance photo shows Eric Conn at a gas station in New Mexico.

LOUISVILLE — A fugitive lawyer from Kentucky who was convicted of stealing millions of dollars from Social Security has been spotted at a gas station and Walmart store in New Mexico, the FBI says.

Eric Conn of Floyd County was sentenced in absentia Friday to 12 years in prison and ordered to pay nearly $170 million in restitution.

Conn, who was convicted of defrauding the government out of $550 million in Social Security disability payments, fled last month from Lexington, and the FBI says it has obtained surveillance video showing him at the store and station.

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(AP) - Federal agents tracking a fugitive Kentucky lawyer involved in a massive Social Security fraud case released surveillance photos Friday indicating that his escape route took him to New Mexico . The FBI said the weeks-old photos showed Eric Conn at a gas station and a Walmart in New Mexico .

Federal authorities searching for a fugitive Kentucky lawyer involved in a massive Social Security fraud case have released surveillance photos they say In this undated photo released by the FBI on July 14, 2017, Kentucky lawyer Eric Conn is seen on security footage at a New Mexico gas station.

The FBI said it discovered that Conn fled using a truck owned and registered by an unnamed co-conspirator to a dummy company in Montana, and that the co-conspirator also supplied him with other materials.

The statement said there is no evidence that Conn has crossed the border into Mexico.

Amy Hess, the special agent in charge of the Louisville field office, said the FBI is working diligently to bring him to justice and that his flight from prosecution has “diminished any legitimacy and integrity he once held as an attorney and officer of the court.”

She said the FBI is seizing bank accounts and disrupting other means of support while pursuing law enforcement action against co-conspirators in his flight

The FBI has announced a reward of $20,000 for information leading to Conn’s arrest and released the surveillance photos of him Friday.

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Fugitive Eric C. Conn spotted in June at a Pilot gas station in Santa Rosa. The Albuquerque FBI Division has released two photos of a man believed to be Conn while he was in New Mexico in early June.

— Federal agents tracking a fugitive Kentucky lawyer involved in a massive Social Security fraud case released surveillance photos Friday indicating that his escape route took him to New Mexico . The FBI said the weeks-old photos showed Eric Conn at a gas station and a Walmart in New Mexico .

“It is in the best interest of anyone helping him to cooperate with law enforcement and avoid criminal charges for providing aid to him,” she said.

Conn’s electronic ankle monitoring device was found June 2 in a backpack on Interstate 75 in Lexington. He had been released on bond pending his sentencing.

Conn, 56, pleaded guilty in March to one count of stealing from the Social Security Administration and one count of paying illegal gratuities to a federal judge. He admitted he submitted false documentation for clients seeking disability payments and that he paid off a federal administrative law judge who approved the claims.

The federal rules of criminal procedure generally require criminal defendants to be present at all stages of a case, but there is an exception for when they voluntarily absent themselves.

Conn, who started his law practice in a trailer in 1993, portrayed himself as “Mr. Social Security.” He fueled that persona with outlandish TV commercials and small-scale replicas of the Statue of Liberty and the Lincoln Memorial at his office in eastern Kentucky.

Conn represented thousands in successful claims for Social Security benefits. Many of his clients in the impoverished coalfields of eastern Kentucky and West Virginia have fought to keep their disability checks.

Contributing: The Associated Press; follow Andrew Wolfson on Twitter: @adwolfson

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