The Big Conn

“The Big Conn” docuseries is “The Wolf of Wall Street” meets “Tommy Boy”.

If this were a movie, a young Eric Conn would be played by Chris Farley and older Eric by Farley’s Tommy Boy dad Brian Dennehy.

It’s the unbelievable true story of a man some called “Evil” and some called “Robin Hood” (though perhaps Wall Street reporter Damian Paletta (he broke the story) said it best when he called him “Evil Robin Hood”.

Enjoy this tale of lawyers, guns and money.

Trailer for “The Big Conn”

Watch “The Big Conn”

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  • My Rating: 98/100
  • IMDB Rating: 7/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Ratings: 93/100 (users); 67/100 (critics)

My Review of “The Big Conn”

Think: small-town lawyer, big-time fraud.

Directed by James Lee Hernandez and Brian Lazarte (4 episodses = 3 hr 48 min), this docuseries is the unbelievable tale of Eric C. Conn.

Conn, from Kentucky, masterminds a Social Security scam so big, it makes your head spin. Over half a billion dollars! The guy’s living like a character from ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ – flashy and fearless.

Some highlights about Eric Conn and the docuseries:

Personal Life:

  • Eric Conn married an estimated 10-20 women, according to his attorney (Conn claims 16).
  • Conn’s mother controlled his finances; he needed her permission for any cash, even small amounts.

Fraudulent Activity:

On May 19, 2011: A Wall Street Journal article exposes Conn’s scheme involving Judge Daugherty. Some things their/others’ investigations find:

  • Conn opened a Halloween-themed brothel in Thailand called “Gothic Vampire GoGo.”
  • Judge Daugherty’s bank records show regular cash deposits of $3,000-$6,000, allegedly from Conn.

Investigations and Fallout:

  • Conn and Daugherty testify before Congress; Conn invokes his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, , Daugherty doesn’t appear.
  • Daugherty attempts suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning in his car at a church.
  • The Social Security Administration cancels disability benefits for many Conn clients, some tragically leading to suicides.
  • Conn and Daugherty plead guilty; Dr. Adkins, Conn’s accomplice, refuses a plea deal.
  • Conn released on $1.2 million bond under house arrest; on the eve of testifying, he cuts his ankle monitor and becomes a fugitive.

Consequences and Recognition:

  • Dr. Adkins convicted, sentenced to 20 years, and attempts suicide.
  • Conn’s mother, Pat, exerted significant control over him, using childhood tactics like running the vacuum as punishment.
  • Conn flees to Central America, loses most of his money, and gets arrested by the FBI at a Pizza Hut.
  • SSA workers Sarah Carver and Jennifer Griffith who exposed the fraud receive no official recognition, only Conn’s apology calling them “the only real heroes.”

Sentences and Rumors:

  • In 2018, Conn sentenced to 27 years and ordered to pay $107 million restitution.
  • Judge Daugherty sentenced to 4 years and ordered to pay $93 million.
  • Judge Andrua sentenced to 4 months for obstructing justice.
  • Rumors persist about Conn hiding millions of dollars worldwide.

My life suddenly feels so boring. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Rob Kelly, Chief Maniac, Daily Doc