Lexington law firm organizing thousands of client files caught up in Eric Conn scheme
LEXINGTON, Ky. - He admitted to defrauding the federal government out of $550 million and is currently serving a 27 year prison sentence. However, Eric Conn's former clients and those helping them continue to deal with the aftermath of his social security scheme.
"A lot of people don't think about all of the impacts a situation like this causes," said Cary Howard, Jr.
As part of the court process Conn's well known law compound off of U.S. 23 in Floyd County, including the distinct statues that sit out front were seized by the federal government. Inside those offices were thousands of client files. So what has happened with all of those files? Back in the fall Howard along with Barry Stilz were appointed by a federal judge as the receivers of those files. Howard and Stilz work at Lexington based law firm Kinkead and Stilz.
"This always is a part of dealing with the aftermath of the closure of a law office, this process has to be gone through. Very rarely and never in my experience has it been on this scale," explained Howard.
It took a couple of tractor trailer trucks and multiple box trucks to move the files to a secure space in Lexington. Howard recruiting some attorneys who aren't currently practicing and some University of Kentucky law students to organize and inventory what he now estimates is 15,000 to 18,000 client files. Howard says they were initially told there were about 8,000 files.
"There is nothing in digital form, everything is paper. There is about 60 tons of paper."
Now that they have gotten a good amount of the files organized they are hoping to get them to the former clients. Howard says they have had about 800 files requested and have been able to locate around 600 of those. That obviously a small amount when looking at the grand total.
"Mr. Conn and those that worked with him left a huge mess in their wake. This is just one tiny part of it but it is a very important part to the people that have their files there. The medical records are important to them and this might be the only way they can get those medical records at this point," said Howard.
The documents potentially critical for those trying to get benefits back, which is why Howard is urging former clients to get in contact with the office.
Kinkead and Stilz has an email address set up for those searching for their files. Former clients can send a message with their info to email@example.com
Howard says additionally they can call 859-226-7580