Ex-lawyer imprisoned for $550M disability fraud can't pursue suits against former clients, judge rules
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A Kentucky judge has ordered court officials to nix hundreds of small-claims cases filed by an imprisoned former lawyer who was captured outside a Pizza Hut in Honduras after fleeing the country.
Pike County Circuit Judge Eddy Coleman of the 35th Judicial Circuit in Kentucky ordered the court clerk to purge all Pike County lawsuits filed by former lawyer Eric Conn against his former clients, report the Lexington Herald-Leader and the Associated Press.
Coleman ordered a default judgment against Conn after he didn’t respond to the suits, which were filed by former clients.
Conn fled the country after he pleaded guilty in a plot to defraud the Social Security Administration out of more than $550 million. Prosecutors said he submitted false medical documents and bribed an administrative law judge to order disability payments to his clients.
Conn was arrested in Honduras in December 2017 and sentenced to 27 years in prison for the disability fraud, for escape and for a bid to retaliate against a whistleblower.
Lawyer Ned Pillersdorf of Prestonsburg, Kentucky, had represented former Conn clients who obtained the purge order. In a press release, Pillersdorf said Conn would hire a doctor to evaluate his clients for a $400 charge and then would sue his clients for the money, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.
Coleman said Conn wasn’t eligible to practice disability law while he was pursuing the clients in court.