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Sentencing for Conn continued


By Tom Marshall
Senior Advocate writer

A half hour before William “Robbie” Conn was to be sentenced Jan. 24 his son was being prepped for a heart transplant, according to Conn’s attorney.

Lexington attorney James Lowry IV told U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell that Geordan Conn went into prep at 9 a.m. and was expected to go into surgery around 11 a.m.

Lowry asked Caldwell for a continuance for Robbie Conn so he and his family could be with Geordan, 26. Sentencing is now set for 10:30 a.m. Feb. 28.

Caldwell expressed concern to the Conn family before adjourning court.
“I would prefer everyone to be clearheaded for the matter at hand,” the judge said. “I hope the best for your son. I hope he is well.”
Robbie Conn, pastor at Jeffersonville Assembly of God Church, was to be sentenced based on a guilty plea that he defrauded the federal government of more than $100,000 after he had his own heart transplant in 2010.

Federal prosecutors allege that Robbie Conn was receiving pay through the church in the name of his wife, Tanya, while collecting $111,382 in Social Security Administration benefits and $26,808.87 in medical services through Medicaid, according to an indictment.

Conn reportedly stated in federal documents he was unable to work and collected the benefits.

The statutory penalty range calls for a sentence of not more than five years and/or a fine not to exceed $250,000, plus a term of supervised release of not more than three years.

In this particular case, federal guidelines call for a sentence of 10 to 16 months, according to a sentencing memorandum filed in the case.
Prior to granting of the continuance, assistant U.S. Attorney Kate Anderson told the judge that she thought the 10 to 16 month sentence was appropriate.

Conn’s attorneys, Lowry and G. Scott Hayworth, however, have asked the judge to consider probation or a period of home incarceration or community confinement.

The attorneys have asked the judge to consider the “highly unusual circumstances” of the case. They cite Robbie and Geordan’s battles with genetic heart conditions in weighing sentencing.

Robbie, Geordan and Tanya Conn, as well as numerous parishioners and the superintendent of the Kentucky Ministry Network of the Assemblies of God have all written letters to the court in support of Robbie.

Robbie Conn wrote in his letter that “my continuing treatment is very costly. I have so many bills that I am doing my very best to pay on. It was never my intent to do any wrong or to defraud anyone in any way. Me and my wife have always worked very hard, paid our taxes and have always tried to be honest and respectable citizens. I had no choice but to do what I needed to do in order to live.”