Disability Law

Report accuses judge and disability lawyer of defrauding Social Security Administration

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A Kentucky lawyer who self-branded over the years in all manner of advertisements as “Mr. Social Security” got some re-branding by U.S. Senate committee investigators today and the CBS’ 60 Minutes on Sunday in exposes of alleged abuse and fraud in Social Security disability claims.

In 2011, two whistleblowers in the Social Security Administration filed a lawsuit in the Eastern District of Kentucky that Stanville, Ky. lawyer E. Christopher Conn colluded with an administrative law judge who rubber-stamped claims for Conn’s clients, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

In a report released today by Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, ranking Republican of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, investigators allege that Conn, with the help of now-retired Social Security Judge David B. Daugherty, based near Conn in Huntington, W.Va., made more than $4.5 million in attorney fees for disability cases heard by the judge, the Associated Press reported. Investigators further found that Daugherty had received $96,000 in unexplained cash. Neither cooperated with investigators.

60 Minutes featured Conn prominently last night in a report on Social Security disability fraud, pegged to the Senate investigative report and a hearing scheduled for today, and managed to get Conn to come outside his office and stand before the cameras. But Conn declined substantive comment and saying he needed to address it in “the legal realm.”

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