Crooked lawyers, judges and doctors are often common fodder in works of fiction. The story of how Kentucky attorney Eric Conn, Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) David Daugherty and Dr. Alfred Adkins among others allegedly conspired together to defraud the U.S. Government out of millions of dollars by way of rigged Social Security Administration (SSA) Disability claims is stranger than fiction.
Last April, the Department of Justice (DOJ) indicted Conn, “Mr. Social Security,” with several criminal counts, including conspiracies to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, witness retaliation, destruction of records, making false statements, and money laundering among others. Daugherty and Bradley were similarly charged.
The immediate result was that hundreds of Conn’s clients lost their disability benefits and will now have to start the lengthy process of applying for them all over again.
It was a fairly complex alleged scheme, according to the DOJ, as all three allegedly played pivotal roles in teasing out some $600 million in fraudulent benefits. Essentially, and again allegedly, Conn and Dr. Adkins worked together to make up evidence for disability claims that would allow Daugherty, who would seek out and assign these cases to himself, to rubber stamp them for approval.
Everyone involved then shared in the ill-gotten proceeds to some extent. Here is the original indictment as filed by the DOJ.
Again, no one has been convicted in this matter, just indicted. All involved have pled not guilty. There is still a long way to go for a conviction, if any are actually obtained, with the trial set to start in June. Conn made his $1.25 million bail and is currently out of jail.
Beside the painful impact these events have had on Conn’s clients as mentioned above, I feel there has to have been some kind of ripple affect amongst the honest ALJs across the country who now may be concerned about their own ruling history being picked over with a fine-tooth comb, thus having a chilling effect on the number of Fully Favorable rulings awarded. Better safe than sorry in their minds, I’d guess.
If you or your child have been denied SSA disability benefits or suffer from a severe impairment that is expected to last more than twelve months and that prevents you from doing any of your past or other work or is causing developmental delay in your child, please contact our office nearest to you to set up a free consultation appointment to discuss your situation.
James Ezzell is an attorney at the Bond & Botes Law Offices in Huntsville, Alabama. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Alabama, and a Juris Doctorate from the Mississippi College School of Law. James prides himself in working and winning SSA Disability cases for people truly in need of his help. Read his full bio here.