LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A judge approved a plea deal Monday afternoon under which former lawyer Eric C. Conn could face an additional 15 years in prison.
Conn, once known as "Mr. Social Security," pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the U.S., conspiracy to escape and conspiracy to retaliate against a witness/informant.
BREAKING: Eric C. Conn, the U.S., and the judge accepted the plea deal. Conn plead GUILTY to 3 charges. He faces a max of 15 yrs in prison. He also must serve his 12 yrs he already received. 27 yrs total is possible. He’ll be sentenced on Sept. 7th. @LEX18News pic.twitter.com/grzRTI20Ke
— Karolina Buczek (@Karolina_Buczek) June 4, 2018
Conn could be sentenced to 15 more yeas for the charges, to be served after the 12 years he already has received for fraud and other charges.
His lawyer tells LEX 18 that without the deal, Conn would have faced many more charges that could have resulted in 255 years in prison.
Now it’s possible Conn could face as many as 27 years in prison for his role in a half billion dollar fraud scheme and his escape to Honduras.
One year ago this week, federal agents say Conn ripped off his ankle monitor, and fled the country.
He was captured and arrested months later at a Pizza Hut in Honduras.
Conn’s deal Monday covered three charges. For conspiracy to defraud the U.S., Conn admits to fabricating medical documents and paying different people to get Social Security claims passed. The Social Security Administration lost millions of dollars in the scheme.
For conspiracy to escape, Conn admits he had one of his employees scope out checkpoints at the U.S. border, and buy and register a car in a different state. He also admits that he cut his electronic monitoring ankle bracelet and fled the country, remaining a fugitive for six months.
On the charge of conspiracy to retaliate, Conn admits he told his employee to get a video of a Social Security Administration employee violating a work from home schedule. He then had the employee manipulated video to make it appear a violation had taken place and mailed it to the worker.
Conn’s previous 12 year sentence came after pleading guilty to bribing judges and doctors in the fraud scheme, which has affected hundreds of clients in Eastern Kentucky.
LEX 18’s Michael Berk spoke to Conn’s former attorney back in February.
"I think he feels badly for what he did, but he doesn’t necessarily, and i’m speculating here, I don’t think he feels that bad for the people that now claim their disability has been improperly taken away, because he did his job," said Scott White. "He got them their disability."