LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Eric C. Conn faced a federal judge on Wednesday afternoon in Lexington. Conn entered a not guilty plea to four counts of escape and conspiring to escape.
ORIGINAL STORY: Eric C. Conn back in Kentucky after being captured in Honduras
Federal agents returned the fugitive attorney to American soil on Tuesday night six months after Conn went on the run. Conn pleaded guilty back in March for his role in a scheme to defraud the Social Security Administration out of more than $550 million. In June, just days before a judge was scheduled to sentence him in the case, he escaped home detention by cutting off his ankle monitor.
On Saturday, a team of federal authorities captured Conn as he ate at a Pizza Hut in Honduras. Conn's attorney Scott White says he asked his client why he traveled to Honduras.
"He just laughed and said, 'Well, there's a story behind that.' And I said I'm sure there is."
A judge set a February 12, 2018, trial date for the escape case. Conn also faces charges in a separate case concerning a bond violation.
While Conn was on the run, a judge sentenced him to 12 years in the fraud case and ordered him to pay millions in restitution. His attorney says that sentence technically began the moment authorities captured him in Honduras.
"I think he's obviously sad that he's back here having to deal with the stuff he thought he put behind him," White said.
Each of the four counts in the escape case is punishable by up to five years in prison.