James EzzellIn previous blog entries, I have detailed the Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) corruption case against Kentucky attorney Eric Conn, Huntington West Virginia Office of Adjudication and Review’s (ODAR’s) Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) David Daugherty and Dr. Alfred Adkins for allegedly conspiring together to defraud the U.S. government out of millions of dollars by way of fixing Social Security Administration (SSA) disability claims.

Conn Pleads Guilty

Well, with the now ironically-named Conn’s guilty plea last March, I can remove that “allegedly” qualifier for his case. He pled guilty to single counts of theft of government money and payment of gratuities and is set to be sentenced July 14, 2017. He was also fined some $31 million.
Conn pled guilty to defrauding the Federal Government out of some $600 million in SSA disability benefits obtained by falsifying about 1,748 applications. In an elaborate scheme developed by the self-styled “Mr. Social Security” and his alleged co-conspirators – for a cut of the proceeds – he was able to obtain SSA disability benefits for claimants regardless of the merits of their respective cases.

Conn admitted to making about $5.7 million off the arrangement, while ALJ Daugherty was allegedly paid about $10,000 a month from roughly 2004 until 2011 and Adkins reportedly received between $350 to $450 each for the disabling evaluations he produced.

Earlier this year, Adkins oddly attempted to claim he had been given immunity by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents in an effort to avoid the proffered charges, thus far to no avail. Only the U.S. Attorney’s office may offer immunity from prosecution in Federal cases.

ALJ Daugherty and Dr. Adkins’ cases are still pending with no firm trial date set yet as far as I can tell.

Remarkably, the trio aren’t the only ones caught up in the DOJ’s investigation of the West Virginia ODAR.

Last year, the office’s Chief Administrative Law Judge Charlie Andrus pled guilty to retaliating against a SSA employee who provided information to federal investigators regarding possible corruption and fraud charges relating to the Conn, et al., case because it was “embarrassing” and had cast the West Virginia ODAR in a “negative light.” I covered this issue in an earlier blog post for those interested in more details.

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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