Disgraced Fugitive Lawyer Sentenced in Absentia to 12 Years in Prison
A federal judge sentenced disgraced former disability lawyer Eric C. Conn to 12 years in prison Friday even though Conn is a fugitive, according to a report in the Lexington Herald-Leader.
U.S. District Judge Danny C. Reeves imposed the sentence in absentia against Conn in federal court in Lexington, KY. The 12-year sentence was the maximum for the two charges covered in a plea deal that was in place.
Reporter Bill Estep writes that Conn, 56, was once one of the top disability lawyers in the country, representing thousands of people in successful claims for benefits from the Social Security Administration and making millions in fees. But then in March Conn pleaded guilty to stealing from the government and paying illegal gratuities to a Social Security judge.
The conspiracy outlined by Conn included using false evidence of clients’ physical or mental disabilities in their claims. Some doctors were paid to sign forms with little scrutiny, and Conn bribed the Social Security judge to approve claims.