James EzzellYou may recall my blog post from a few weeks ago about 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 rigging Social Security Administration (SSA) Disability claims.

Time for an Update!

One of the “others” I alluded to was former Chief ALJ Charlie Andrus, a 28-year veteran of the SSA, who this month pleaded guilty to his involvement in the elaborate scheme, according to a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) release.  What is interesting is that he was charged with “conspiracy to retaliate against an informant” — in other words witness tampering of all things.  Having discovered a possible whistle blower in their midst, Conn (allegedly) and Andrus set about trying to get the person fired.

They (Conn allegedly) went so far as to hire a private investigator to follow the informer and film them in hopes of catching them violating the strictures of the SSA’s work at home program.  When Andrus is sentenced, he may be looking at up to 10 years in jail and fined as much as $250.000.00.  Conn also was charged with this crime among a litany of other charges.

Overall, Conn’s law firm allegedly pocketed some $23,000,000.00 in over a decade’s time from this alleged “fix.”  A date for his trial has not yet been set.

The scheme was so offensive to the senses that the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee released a report about the affair entitled How Some Legal, Medical, and Judicial Professionals Abused Social Security Disability Programs for the Country’s Most Vulnerable: A Case Study of the Conn Law Firm in 2013. The link is to the report’s PDF.

The informer was not named in the DOJ’s release, but is thought to have actually been two individuals: Jennifer Griffith and Sarah Carver, who filed a whistle blower civil suit against Conn, Daugherty and Adkins in 2011 according to media reports.  The pair first reported the malfeasance in 2006 according to articles.

I will continue to monitor the story and will provide blog posts on any important developments.

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.

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