Eric Conn in U.S. federal court as victims react to his capture
PRESTONSBURG, KY (WCHS/WVAH) —
The day after returning to Kentucky, fugitive lawyer Eric Conn was in U.S. Federal Court in Lexington Wednesday afternoon. His attorney entered a not guilty plea to escape and failure to appear charges outlined in an indictment unsealed in September. Conn was caught over the weekend in Honduras after being on the run since June.
"As smart as he thought he was, I would have thought he'd be gone longer," said Cheryl Martin, one of Conn's victims in his multi-million dollar Social Security scheme.
It's a scene many never thought would happen. After six months on the run and a worldwide manhunt, Eric Conn returned to Kentucky. He was arrested over the weekend outside a Pizza Hut in Honduras.
"I lost a dollar bet with my husband because I said he was in Cuba,' said Martin. "I just wish that all the money that he has spent and that he has stashed away can somehow be distributed amongst the people that lost so much," said Martin.
"We do have a $31-million class action against Conn," said Ned Pillersdorf, attorney for the victims of Conn's Social Security scheme, but he says collecting that money may be easier said than done. "What my clients have figured out is the more he taunts the system, the worse it rebounds to them. The truth is they have always suffered from guilt by association," said Pillersdorf.
He says there is no evidence his clients were ever involved in Conn's scheme, adding that Conn's arrest changes the chapter to let people know his clients have done nothing wrong.
Conn and co-defendant Curtis Lee Wyatt, who authorities say helped Conn flee the country are scheduled for trial in February.