- Associated Press - Monday, June 12, 2017

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Someone claiming to be a fugitive Kentucky lawyer has told a newspaper he had help in his escape about a month before he was to be sentenced in a massive Social Security fraud case.

In an email to the Lexington Herald-Leader, the person purporting to be Eric Conn said the only assistance in his escape was “from someone who is absolutely insusceptible to the reach of American law.” It didn’t elaborate on the identity of the person or their location.

The FBI has said Conn’s electronic monitoring device was found June 2 in Lexington, Kentucky, in a backpack along Interstate 75.

Conn, a disabilities lawyer, had pleaded guilty in March to stealing from the federal government and bribing a judge in a nearly $600 million Social Security fraud case. He was facing up to 12 years in prison and had agreed to pay the government tens of millions of dollars.

The person claiming to be Conn also said in an email to the newspaper that he had noted law enforcement attempts to find him through the IP address on his emails, the Herald-Leader (https://bit.ly/2slLSYG) reported Monday. The email sender said he had been “mentored by the master of such things” to avoid detection.

“Do they really think they can find me with such a blunt method?” the email said.

The person has sent a series of emails to the Lexington newspaper, including offering proposed terms of his surrender.

The FBI said Monday it was aware that someone claiming to be Conn had contacted media.

“That person, however, has not contacted the FBI and we encourage him or her to do so,” the FBI said in a statement.

The agency said it’s pursuing numerous tips and leads in trying to track down Conn. A $20,000 reward has been offered for information leading authorities to the lawyer.

Meanwhile, an eastern Kentucky lawyer who has sued Conn, said Monday that his law office received a fax from someone claiming to be Conn.

Ned Pillersdorf, who is representing hundreds of Conn’s former clients who have sued in seeking damages from Conn, said he’s convinced the fax came from Conn.

Pillersdorf, who said he contacted the FBI after receiving the fax, referred to the fax and emails as “the whinings of a desperate man.”

The fax lashed out at the government’s case against psychologist Alfred Bradley Adkins. A federal jury on Monday convicted the Pikeville, Kentucky, psychologist of participating in the scheme, media outlets reported. Conn would likely have been a witness at Adkins’ trial if he had not disappeared.

Adkins was convicted of fraud and conspiracy. He is to be sentenced Sept. 22.

He had been accused of signing mental impairment evaluations on Conn’s clients without examining them. Adkins’ lawyer, Jonah Lee Stevens, told jurors that Adkins wasn’t part of the scheme and was duped by Conn.

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