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Judge orders purge of suits filed by Kentucky lawyer involved in large fraud scheme

A Kentucky judge has ordered the purge of hundreds of lawsuits filed by a Kentucky lawyer currently serving a 27-year prison sentence for organizing the biggest Social Security fraud scheme in history. 

The Lexington Herald Leader first reported that Pike Circuit Judge Eddy Coleman ruled that Eric Conn was not eligible to practice Social Security disability law when he filed lawsuits against clients, as he had previously been disqualified from practicing before the Veterans Affairs disability benefits program. 

Therefore, the judge ruled that the small-claims actions that have remained on the court docket for years should be removed. 

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Conn, who at one point was considered one of the top Social Security disability lawyers in the country, pleaded guilty in 2017 to bribing doctors to falsify his clients’ medical records and then paying a judge to approve their lifetime disability benefits. 

Local attorney Ned Pillersdorf, who helped represent several of Conn’s former clients, said that the now-disgraced attorney filed hundreds of small-claims lawsuits in which he would seek reimbursement for clients’ medical costs, which Conn would pay a doctor to evaluate at a cost of about $400. 

The Associated Press reported that many of Conn’s former clients would not receive notices when he filed claims against them, thus leading them to remain in court records, which the initial lawsuit against Conn argued likely hurt his former client’s credit scores and job prospects.

This week’s order purging records applies to hundreds of warrants, contempt citations and outstanding judgments that had been filed against his clients. 

In a post on his Facebook page Friday, Pillersdorf called the judge’s order “good news [for] hundreds of former Conn clients who had no idea why they were experiencing true economic and legal harm due to Conn's exploitation of the Pike District Courts.”

According to the AP, Conn initially entered a plea agreement that would have seen him go to prison for 12 years, but the former attorney just weeks before his sentencing fled the country. 

Following a six-month search by federal agents, Conn was detained outside a Pizza Hut in Honduras and was returned to the U.S., where he was given an additional 15 years for his escape.