In my last blog entry I discussed Kentucky Social Security Administration (SSA) disability attorney Eric Conn’s guilty plea and fine for a variety of misdeeds relating to his SSA disability practice. It was the latest of several, as I have covered a number of other aspects relating to the case in earlier blog entries (here and here).
As part of Conn’s plea deal, on June 5, 2017 he was scheduled to testify against his alleged co-conspirators. Apparently he had other plans.
Conn had been on house arrest since his March 24, 2017 plea, a component of which required him to be fitted with a GPS ankle bracelet. On June 2, 2017 he cut if off and fled.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) currently has a $20,000.00 award out for information leading to his arrest and he has been labeled an escape risk, obviously. Here’s a link to his Wanted By The FBI poster.
As of last Friday the FBI believes Conn is still in the United States and, remarkably, is being aided and abetted by a number of family, friends and associates. The FBI has been adamant in reminding the public that this is illegal and those involved may be charged accordingly.
It’s Not Fair!
Bizarrely, Conn may have doubled down if a series of emails sent later that week to his attorney, Scott White, the Lexington Herald Leader and other entities are to be believed. If the communications are authentic, he relates his conditions for surrender in addition to the reasons why he fled — primarily that it’s not fair that he’s possibly facing a longer sentence than some of his co-conspirators and possibly others tangentially related to the scheme. Conn is looking at up to 12 years behind bars.
Former Huntington West Virginia Office of Adjudication and Review’s (ODAR’s) Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) David Daugherty is facing up to four years in prison for taking about $600,000 in bribes from Conn, while the office’s former Chief Administrative Law Judge Charlie Andrus is looking at a possible 10-year stretch for witness retaliation related to the affair.
ALJ David Daugherty
ALJ Daugherty pled guilty on May 12, 2017 to two counts of taking illegal gratuities and is set for sentencing on August 25, 2017. As part of his plea he agreed to hand over to the government the roughly $600,000 he had received. On the bright side, he does get to keep his pension. ALJ Andrus pled guilty June 13, 2016 and at present it is unclear when he will be sentenced as it was linked to the resolution of some of the scheme’s related cases.
Dr. Alfred Adkins
One of Conn’s co-conspirators of whom he was still likely to have been compelled to testify against prior to his flight was Dr. Alfred Adkins, who from my understanding essentially concocted false disabling assessments that served as the foundation for many of the crooked ALJ decisions. He was found guilty on June 12, 2017 nonetheless.
Adkins was convicted of multiple accounts of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and making a false statement/representation, which could land him in jail for up to 20 years. Sentencing is set for September 22, 2017. Reportedly he pocketed about $200,000 for his efforts.
For what it’s worth, in a supposed email to the Washington Times, Conn claimed that another reason he fled was to avoid testifying against Adkins so that he might get a “fair trial.”
How these recent events may affect Conn’s sentencing, originally scheduled for July 14, 2017, remains to be seen. I’m guessing negatively. Under Federal sentencing guidelines the term was expected to be somewhat less than the 12-year maximum, but now who knows?
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.