A prominent Kentucky disability attorney who is at the center of a nearly $600 million Social Security fraud case has reportedly fled the country using a fake passport and has been set up with a job overseas.
Eric Conn told The Lexington Herald-Leader in an email exchange over the weekend he flew to a country that does not have an extradition agreement with the U.S.
The Herald-Leader reported it tried to verify Conn’s identity by asking him questions that only he could answer, including his Social Security number, which it obtained from court documents, and details about one of his marriages. He answered the questions correctly, the paper said.
Scott White, Conn's attorney, said that he also received emails that originated from the same address and from a person he believed to be Conn.
Many believed that Conn, who fled home detention on June 2, had stashed money overseas to live on but the email said that was not the case.
"The money I sent overseas was money that has long since been spent," Conn wrote.
Conn said the day after cutting off the monitor he used the passport to fly out of the U.S. He made a reference in one email to being on another continent but did not say which. He added he boarded a commercial flight without any significant problems but did not say where he caught the flight.
He did say he worked to misdirect authorities. For example, Conn said he used his credit card to buy a ticket to fly out of John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. He said however that he never intended to go there because of the likelihood the FBI was monitoring his transactions.
He used a different, pre-paid credit card to buy a second ticket and used that one to leave the country, he said.
Conn said his leaving required preparation. A key factor was to not ask anyone left behind for help so they would not get in trouble, he said.
"I had to ask for help from an individual or individuals who were effectively immune from the government's persecution," Conn said. "Fortunately, I had previously made alliances with such individual or individuals."
The FBI did not say whether it believes the emails are from Conn. A person claiming to be Conn has sent the newspaper several emails since fleeing. Unlike the latest emails, it was not possible to reply to the initial emails, the paper reported.
Conn pleaded guilty in March to stealing from the federal government and bribing a doctor and a judge to approve disability claims based on fake medical evidence.
Conn speaks multiple languages, has crossed the border 140 times in the past decade and had told at least six people he would flee the country instead of going to jail.
He surrendered his passport in April 2016 after being indicted. An accomplice outside the country obtained a fake passport for him, an email said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.