Dr. Alfred Bradley Adkins has been arrested by US Marshals. He was mentioned in a letter in relation to attorney Eric C. Conn that the Social Security Administration had issued. Adkins was one of the four doctors who were involved with the revoking of benefits for Conn’s clients. The Pikeville psychologist and Conn had been found to have conspired to rig disability claims. Hundreds of such claims had been rigged from 2004 to 2012.
Adkins took money from Conn to sign completed evaluations supporting Conn’s client’s appeals. He took roughly $300 to $450 for each of these evaluations. Conn faked medical documents to make it look as though his clients were disabled.
The other three doctors involved were Dr. David P. Herr, Dr. Srinivas Ammisetty and Dr. Frederic Huffnagle. The latter passed away back in 2010. Conn himself was arrested on Monday. Adkins is currently being held at Pike County Detention Center. Right now, it is not known whether the arrest was carried out in relation to Conn’s initial case. We also have no information on what kind of charges Adkins will be facing in the immediate future. He is currently being held on federal charges.
Conn called himself “Mr. Social Security” and practiced law in Eastern Kentucky. The lawyer did not go for subtlety, instead opting to plastering his photo across billboards and hiring beauty queens. He hired Miss Kentucky USA a few years ago for $70,000 a year to be his office’s public relations director, even though many small-town law firms don’t even have such positions. His aggressive advertising also included hiring Ralph Stanley to shoot him a music video, and hiring young, buxom cheerleaders to wear tight shirts that had his toll-free number printed on them. He called these women his “Conn Girls”. Conn was charged with cheating the federal disability benefits program of over $600 million. David B. Daugherty was also involved in the scam. He was a Huntington Social Security Administration appeals judge. He was the inside man who knew how the Social Security bureaucracy worked. He made sure that Conn’s appeals were assigned to him specifically. Every month, he collected anywhere from $9,000 to $9,500 from the lawyer. In return, he guaranteed approvals, according to the indictment.
Tom Coburn, former U.S. Senator, an Oklahoma Republican was the one who led a Senate investigation in 2013 into Daugherty and Conn’s working relationship. He said he was excited about the developments, and that he hoped they would rot in jail. They stole money on behalf of people who weren’t actually disabled, he said. He also added that the claimants themselves weren’t innocent in the case. They apparently knew that a scam was going on. He admitted that some of them may have been disabled, but that it was their fault that they hired a shyster lawyer.
Sarah Carver filed a whistleblower lawsuit against Adkins, Conn, Daugherty and others alleging benefits fraud in 2011. She was from the Social Security Administration and one of the two case technicians. She said that the indictments weren’t enough. She said that her biggest concern was whether or not the SSA would finally acknowledge the fraud that had been going on. She hoped they would hold the managers accountable because they had known about it for years. She said that some of the managers in question had even retired with full benefits, and some others had even been promoted to higher positions.
Adkins, Conn and Daugherty faced wire fraud and mail fraud among other charges. They also faced charges for destruction of evidence, money laundering conspiracy to retaliate against witnesses and making false statements. The government has asked them to pay $11.67 million in forfeited assets. They will also have to pay up to $250,000 in fines, while the most serious charges may land them in prison for up to 20 years. Attorneys representing all three men chose not to comment when the charges were announced.
Adkins and Conn were jailed in Pike County after being arrested on Monday night. They were produced at a Lexington courtroom for their arraignment, with their wrists and ankles chained. Daugherty had retired by then, and was living in Myrtle Beach. Even though he was also arrested, he wasn’t at the court on Tuesday. Adkins was allowed to be released by U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert E. Wier on his own recognizance. The initial trial date was set for June 7th. Jonah Stevens, his attorney, said that his medical license had been suspended. However, prosecutors urged that Weir order Conn to stay in prison until Thursday, when a detention hearing would be held. Conn had been dealing in disability benefits for over 20 years. His practice is near the Pike and Floyd county line, in a chain of interconnected trailers. The lot has a 19-foot statue of Abraham Lincoln fronting it.
This review (Dr. Alfred Adkins arrested on federal charges) was originally published at Holy Smoke !.
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