Kentucky lawyer who vanished pleads not guilty to escape

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) – A Kentucky lawyer who vanished for six months until his capture in Central America has appeared in a federal courtroom as he faces the consequences for his role in a Social Security fraud case.

Eric Conn had his initial court hearing in Lexington, Kentucky, on Wednesday, the day after he was flown back to the United States after he was caught outside a Pizza Hut in Honduras.

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 sentenced in absentia last summer to 12 years for stealing from the government and bribing a judge in a more than $500 million Social Security fraud case.

He fled on June 2 when he cut off his electronic ankle monitor.

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