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  • Federal Grand Jury Indict Three People In SSA Fraud Case

    Three people, which includes a former judge and the “Mr. Social Security” lawyer were indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury for allegedly cheating procedures and rules that pertain to a multi-year scheme that won millions of dollars in disability benefits for people.

    Kentucky lawyer Eric Conn is considered the largest-grossing disability lawyer in the U.S. David Daugherty,the former judge, had judged 1,284 cases and awarded benefits to 1,280 of those cases.

    The federal grand jury indicted Conn,Daugherty and psychologist Alfred Adkins on several charges that include wire fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. According to the indictment, the defendants had submitted fake medical documentation to the Social Security Administration in order for Conn’s clients to receive disability benefits.

    The indictment said the three’s conduct led to the SSA office to send out – retroactive and proactive – disability benefits of over $600 million.

    The relations between Conn and Daugherty was revealed in 2011 when a Wall Street Journal article in 2011 found complaints were made by former and current employees of the Huntington, W.Va. Social Security office.

    The indictment said Daugherty looked out for Conn’s cases, soliciting him to submit fake medical evidence so he could rule in favor of people getting disability benefits. These documents include radiology images and X-ray reports.

    During this time, Conn made monthly-cash withdrawals from his business account – around $9,000– with some of the money being given to the judge.

    People who wanted social security benefits and were denied benefits initially could request a hearing before an administrative law judge. According to sources close to both men, Conn earned millions of dollars by representing these clients in numerous areas like Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia,as he’d get some of these benefits after Daugherty approved his clients’ requests.

    Conn is also facing charges of money laundering, destruction of records in a federal investigation and conspiracy to retaliate against a witness. Both men face charges of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments.

    The Social Security Administration, in 2015, let 1,500 of Conn’s former clients who were awarded benefits that their case was being reviewed and they may potentially lose benefits. Three people committed suicide not long after the SSA warned them of the issue.
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