Eric C. Conn pleaded not guilty in federal court to escape after he was returned from Honduras, where he was arrested on Saturday outside a pizza restaurant, reportedly after using the wi-fi there.
Conn's attorney entered a not guilty plea to escape and failure to appear charges that were outlined in an indictment unsealed while Conn was still missing.
Conn was also charged previous year, along with a former Social Security administrative law judge and a former clinical psychologist, in an 18-count indictment charging conspiracy, mail and wire fraud, false statements, money laundering and other related offenses in connection with a $550 million Social Security disability fraud scheme.
Conn is charged along with his former employee, Curtis Wyatt, of planning and executing the June 2 escape where Conn, who was on house arrest, cut off his Global Positioning System ankle monitor and ultimately left the country. "Let's just say that all those people where frauds, because that's what the government calculated the penalty on".
"It was quite a gamble that he took" by allegedly escaping, White said.
After his arrest in Honduras, lawyer who...
Snow warning for Donegal comes into force later
Road conditions will be in a poor state across the country and motorists are advised to be vigilant for ice and to slow down. Saturday is expected to be a mostly dry but very cold day with varying cloud and sunny spells.
A truck Conn is believed to have used during his escape was discovered in New Mexico near the border with Mexico, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in July.
"He's obviously sad that he's back here in the sense of having to deal with this stuff that he thought he had put behind him", White said. Two committed suicide after Conn disappeared. "Social Security." He fueled that flamboyant persona with outlandish TV commercials and small-scale replicas of the Statue of Liberty and the Lincoln Memorial at his office in eastern Kentucky.
But his empire crumbled when authorities discovered he had been bribing a doctor and a judge to approve disability claims based on fake medical evidence.
Conn's capture was cheered by his former clients and their families, who have struggled to make ends meet while fighting to keep their Social Security disability checks.
Through his attorney, Conn pleaded not guilty Wednesday. "There have been 1,500 hearings, approximately, and 800 of my clients are going without".