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June 4, 2018

Conn has said he 'knows others involved', may give names for time off sentence

ERIC C. CONN LIVED IN PIKEVILLE BUT OPERATED THIS LAW OFFICE IN FLOYD CO. WHERE HE STOLE MILLIONS FROM TAXPAYERS OVER THE YEARSERIC C. CONN LIVED IN PIKEVILLE BUT OPERATED THIS LAW OFFICE IN FLOYD CO. WHERE HE STOLE MILLIONS FROM TAXPAYERS OVER THE YEARS

Former Eastern Kentucky disability lawyer Eric C. Conn pleaded guilty Monday to three felonies that carry a 15-year prison sentence.

The latest sentence will add to a 12-year sentence Conn began serving in December on separate charges related to fraud against the Social Security Administration, for a total sentence of 27 years.

U.S. District Judge Danny C. Reeves accepted the plea deal during a hearing Monday in Lexington.

Conn, 58, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the Social Security Administration; conspiracy to escape; and conspiracy to retaliate against a witness.Conn, 58, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the Social Security Administration; conspiracy to escape; and conspiracy to retaliate against a witness.Conn, 58, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the Social Security Administration; conspiracy to escape; and conspiracy to retaliate against a witness.

Conn, who lived in Pikeville and had his office in Floyd County, was once one of the top-paid federal disability lawyers in the nation.

However, last year he admitted he used false evidence of physical or mental disabilities in clients’ claims for benefits, paid medical professionals to approve claims with little scrutiny, and paid more than $600,000 in bribes to a Social Security judge, David L. Daugherty, who approved claims for Conn’s clients.

The conspiracy involved thousands of cases.

Conn was on home detention awaiting sentencing when he fled the country last June. He ended up in Honduras, where police caught him on Dec. 2 at a Pizza Hut where he’d gone for lunch.

Federal prosecutors had agreed to dismiss the original 18-count indictment against Conn as part of a deal in which he pleaded guilty to two related charges that resulted in the 12-year sentence.

However, after Conn fled, prosecutors kept those 18 charges in place, and a grand jury added four more based on his escape.

The plea he entered Monday resolves all charges.

There is no parole in the federal system but inmates can trim sentences by 15 percent for good conduct. That means Conn could cut his sentence to 23 years.

However, Conn also could get a further sentence reduction by giving authorities information about others involved in fraud, if he has such information.

Conn has told the Herald-Leader in letters that he had knowledge about others who have not yet been charged being involved in fraud.

By Bill Estep
Lexington Herald-Leader

May 31, 2018

TaxAnswers.ky.gov, to inform residents about tax changes made during the 2018 General Assembly

Kentucky Press News Service

FRANKFORT - Beginning July 1, Kentucky residents will begin paying new taxes.

The Kentucky Department of Revenue announced Thursday the launch of a new website, TaxAnswers.ky.gov, to inform residents about tax changes made during the 2018 General Assembly, a state news release said.

Beginning July 1, some services provided in Kentucky will be subject to sales tax. Several other types of taxes are also impacted by the new law.

Ky. tax help TaxAnswers.ky.govKy. tax help TaxAnswers.ky.gov

The new site features guidance information, answers to many frequently asked questions and links to technical guidance. Additional content will continue to be added, the news release said.

Many service providers will now be responsible for collecting sales and use tax. If not already registered with the Department of Revenue, these businesses need to do so online at onestop.ky.gov.

“Our goal is to assist taxpayers in becoming and remaining compliant. These changes have an impact on many Kentuckians, so we want to make sure we are giving taxpayers as much information as possible," Department of Revenue Commissioner Daniel Bork said. "This site is one of the best ways to do that.”

DOR also has a dedicated email address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and phone number (502) 564-5700 to assist taxpayers.

 

May 30, 2018

McConnell wants legal hemp and 'no food-stamp work requirements' in Senate version of Farm Bill

 

McConnellMcConnell

 

The Senate Agriculture Committee is finalizing its draft of the Farm Bill, and if Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has his way, it won't include work requirements for food stamp recipients but will legalize hemp production.

McConnell told The Wall Street Journal last week that "the Senate bill doesn’t need to expand work requirements for able-bodied adults who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, a key feature of the farm bill that Republicans are struggling to push through the House," Philip Brasher reports for Agri-Pulse.

In addition to the work issue, the Senate bill has two key differences with the House bill, which recently failed to pass because of a dispute about immigration.

"The Senate bill would keep the Conservation Stewardship Program in operation and contain an energy title to fund assistance for renewable energy, biorefinery projects and other priorities," Brasher reports. "The House bill would eliminate both CSP and the energy title and would provide no mandatory funding for energy programs."

McConnell told Agri-Pulse last month that he will try to bring the bill to the floor as soon as it clears the committee, which he hopes will happen before the end of the summer. The bill still has a ways to go before that happens, with committee members hashing out issues such as debated changes to crop insurance.

Because the Senate is in recess this week and the Congressional Budget Office has not finalized the bill's cost estimates, the week of June 11 is likely the earliest the bill could pass out of committee.


Written by Heather Chapman

SOMEMRSEP