Eric C. Conn, the flamboyant Kentucky lawyer who billed himself as “Mr. Social Security,” has been indicted on allegations that he made millions by paying a doctor and a judge to rubber-stamp false disability claims using phony medical evidence.
Conn was indicted along with David Daugherty, a Social Security administrative law judge for more than two decades, and Dr. Alfred Bradley Adkins, a clinical psychologist. They are charged with 18 counts altogether, including fraud and conspiracy, according to the indictment unsealed Tuesday.
“ The defendants are charged with designing an intricate scheme, using their expertise and positions of authority, to fraudulently induce payment of $600 million in federal disability and healthcare benefits,” Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell said.
Until his arrest late Monday, Conn had escaped legal consequence for years, even after the Social Security Administration last summer cut off disability payments to hundreds of his clients in the impoverished coalfields of eastern Kentucky and West Virginia. Conn continued to practice law and remains in good standing with the Kentucky Bar Association.
Adkins was the only one of the four doctors charged; another has since died and two more are listed in the indictment as “unindicted co-conspirators.”
A federal grand jury in Lexington returned the indictment Friday. It was sealed until Tuesday.