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Effort to Bilk Social Security of $500 Million Stymmied

At Government Executive magazine on Monday, Charles Clark reported, "In a break for the governmentwide effort to thwart improper payments, the Justice Department on Friday announced a guilty plea by a Kentucky disability attorney involved in a scheme to defraud the Social Security Administration of as much as $550 million."

Clark provides these details:

"Eric Christopher Conn, 56, of Pikeville, Ky., pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky to one count of theft of government money and one count of payment of gratuities.

"From October 2004 to April 2016, according to the plea, “Conn participated in a scheme with former SSA administrative law judge David Daugherty and multiple doctors that involved the submission of thousands of falsified medical documents to the SSA. Conn and his co-conspirators obligated the SSA to pay more than $550 million in lifetime benefits to claimants for these fraudulent submissions.”

"Conn’s Floyd County firm spent two decades representing claimants, and he admitted in his plea that he paid Daugherty about $10,000 a month to award disability benefits to 1,700 claimants for whom Conn submitted falsified medical documents from December 2004 through April 2011, Justice reported.

"Daugherty and a clinical psychologist named Alfred Bradley Adkins, who is alleged to have signed inaccurate evaluation reports for disability claimants before the patients were examined, were indicted separately. They were charged with conspiracy, fraud, false statements, money laundering and related offenses.

"Conn admitted that he received more than $5.7 million in representative fees from SSA based upon the fraudulent claims.

"Sentencing for Conn is set for July 14.

"The development was welcomed by Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which has been mulling legislation addressing disability fraud.

“This is an important step in the fight against Social Security disability fraud," he said . . . ."

Clark embeds a number of links in the even you desire further details.

We growled about the Social Security disability fund on July 24, 2015, growling that the fund was predicted to run out of money in late 2016.

Kudos to those many government officials responsible for bringing this Conn-man, and his partners in crime, to justice.

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