After being captured in Honduras, fugitive Kentucky attorney Eri - WDRB 41 Louisville News

After being captured in Honduras, fugitive Kentucky attorney Eric Conn pleads not guilty in federal court

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Eric Conn leaving the federal courthouse in Lexington on Wednesday Eric Conn leaving the federal courthouse in Lexington on Wednesday

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Kentucky attorney responsible for the biggest social security scam in U.S. history appeared in federal court Wednesday.

Eric Conn pleaded not guilty plea to escape charges. Earlier this year, Conn pleaded guilty in a $550 million social security fraud case, but federal prosecutors said he left the country before sentencing.

Conn is accused of causing hundreds of people to lose their social security benefits, but his attorney said there's only one victim, angrily disputing claims Conn's social security fraud case includes hundreds of victims. 

"The United States is the only victim," said Lexington attorney Scott White. "Let's just say that all those people where frauds, because that's what the government calculated the penalty on ... That means a number of people got to put a lot of money in their pocket that they weren't entitled to."

White said Conn helped people in an economically challenged part of the state.

"You go down to Floyd County, Johnson County, Pike County, Martin County, those are depressed, poor areas," White said. "All that money is being spent in those communities."

Ned Pillersdorf represents several hundred of Conn's former clients and said they're being punished by the social security administration.

"We look at his arrest as a game-changer," Pillersdorf said. "They've taken away benefits from about 800 people. There have been 1,500 hearings, approximately, and 800 of my clients are going without."

Conn was captured in Honduras on Saturday and brought back to Kentucky on Tuesday night.

White admits he didn't expect to see Conn back in the United States so soon.

"The first thing I asked him when I saw him was 'Why'd you stop in Honduras?'" White said. "He just laughed and said, 'Well, there's a story behind that.'"

Conn is scheduled to go to trial on the escape charges in February of next year.

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