Social Security lawyer Eric Conn


The FBI is hunting for a Kentucky disability attorney who stole $600 million from the federal government has disappeared, the FBI said.

Eric Conn pleaded guilty to stealing from the Social Security Administration and paying bribes to a judge to rubber-stamp disability claims for thousands of his clients. Conn remained free on bond pending his sentencing next month, but a judge had ordered him to be on home detention with electronic monitoring, reported.


He was ordered to pay back tens of millions of dollars. His sentencing was scheduled for next month.

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The FBI office in Louisville issued a press release saying Conn had removed his electronic monitoring device in violation of his bond and that authorities didn’t know where he was.


The U.S. District Court has issued a warrant for his arrest.

David Habich, the General counsel for the FBI’s Louisville office said that Conn’s “whereabouts are currently unknown.”


Conn started his practice in 1993 and has since built one of the most lucrative disability firms in the country. Known as “Mr. Social Security,” Conn built a persona for himself using outlandish TV commercials, Fox News reported.

But Conn’s empire crumbled when federal investigators uncovered he had been bribing a doctor and a judge to approve disability claims based on fake medical evidence. As part of his plea deal in March, he agreed to pay the federal government $5.7 million and to reimburse Social Security $46 million. A federal judge ordered Conn to pay $12 million in damages and $19 million in penalties to the government and two former Social Security employees who tried to expose the scheme. And Conn is also facing a liability judgment from a class action lawsuit brought by his former clients, with a hearing scheduled for later this month to determine the damages.

The scandal prompted the federal government to review the eligibility of about 1,500 people receiving benefits, more than half of the people lost their benefits as a result.

Prestonsburg attorney Ned Pillersdorf, who represents former clients of Conn suing him for fraud, said he has long thought Conn would flee. He sought to tie up Conn’s assets as part of that case as a result, Pillersdorf said.

Conn is an experienced international traveler, still has admirers who could help him and may have some cash stashed somewhere, Pillersdorf said.

“You won’t find anybody in Floyd County who’s surprised by this,” he said.

Pillersdorf said Conn may have thought he would be jailed after testifying in the Adkins trial, which could explain the timing of when he left.

The Conn case has caused a good deal of heartache in Eastern Kentucky. At least two people committed suicide after the Social Security Administration said it would cut off benefits to Conn clients because of suspected fraudulent information used in their cases, and hundreds reportedly have lost benefits.

Anyone with information about Conn has been asked to contact the FBI at 502-263-6000.

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