Court ruling could help restore disability benefits for Eric Conn’s victims

Court ruling could help restore disability benefits for Eric Conn’s victims
After being on the run for much of 2017, Eric Conn was captured in Honduras last December.

FRANKFORT, KY (AP) - A federal judge says the Social Security Administration used an unconstitutional process to revoke the disability benefits for hundreds of clients of disgraced former attorney Eric Conn.

Conn is in prison after pleading guilty to bribing doctors and judges to gain disability benefits for his clients. The Social Security Administration held hearings to review those benefits. In those hearings, judges banned evidence from those doctors and did not let the clients challenge that decision.

A panel of judges on the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that not letting the clients rebut claims that the doctors' reports were fraudulent is unconstitutional.

The decision could allow some people to have their benefits restored. Officials with the Social Security Administration did not respond to an email seeking comment.

Conn pleaded guilty in March 2017 and was placed under house arrest until his sentencing, but removed his GPS ankle monitor and disappeared three months later. He was eventually captured while leaving a Pizza Hut in Honduras in December.

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