New Eric C. Conn docuseries to premiere Friday on Apple TV+
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Anyone who followed the saga of Eric C. Conn - from successful attorney and local celebrity to convicted fraudster and federal fugitive - no doubt remembers their share of strange details from the stories along the way.
Viewers of “The Big Conn,” streaming Friday on Apple TV+, will get an idea of that, and then some.
“You can’t investigate Eric Conn,” one official says in an early episode, “and not hear a million crazy stories.”
This four-part docuseries certainly shares many of them, detailing the disgraced eastern Kentucky attorney’s lavish lifestyle, how he engineered the largest Social Security fraud scheme in U.S. history, and how it all came unraveled.
Many Kentuckians will already be familiar with the basics, but the story of Eric Conn will get a much larger audience when all four episodes come out Friday. Along with its companion podcast, the docuseries could end up becoming one of the latest “true crime” sensations across the country.
“As we looked into it, we realized just how massive this [scheme] was and how many years it went on, and just the entire community, how it affected this one area but also was affecting all the way up to the Senate and Washington D.C. started to step in,” Writer/Director James Lee Hernandez told WKYT’s Garrett Wymer in an interview over Zoom. “So we just had to dive into it.”
The docuseries includes interviews with major players, including the whistleblowers who figured out what was happening, stood up to the system and testified against Conn, the Wall Street Journal reporter who blew the story wide open, and the investigators trying to pin Conn down.
It also features excerpts from the unpublished manuscript of what Conn’s attorney calls his “manifesto,” plus phone conversations between the show’s creators and Conn himself.
“The one thing that was really distinctive to us was being able to include Eric’s point of view in this,” Writer/Director Brian Lazarte said in the interview. “When we made ‘McMillions,’ we didn’t have Jerry Jacobson’s point of view in the story. We only had everyone else. And so the moment we began to build a relationship with Eric and we realized we could include that, it really changed things.”
The fast-paced story focuses largely on the bizarre details of Conn’s personal life, the years-long scheme he perpetrated and his escape from custody. But amid all the craziness of the story, the creators said they did not want to lose sight of Conn’s victims, who may still be dealing with the impacts today.
“That really is what it all boils down to. It’s a fascinating story. Eric is this larger-than-life, colorful figure,” Hernandez said. “But it was a really big deal to us to understand that these are real people. These are lives being affected by everything that’s being done by everybody in this story.
“If you don’t hear from them,” he said, “you’re really doing an injustice to understand what happens when people make decisions that are slightly shady and think, ‘Well, who am I really hurting?’ We’re showing you who you’re hurting.”
How to Watch
Subscriptions are $4.99 per month with a seven-day free trial. Some customers who recently purchased a new Apple device may be able to sign up for three months free.
A companion podcast will also be available on Apple Podcasts.
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