After a one-week trial in Lexington, Kentucky, a federal jury convicted clinical psychologist Alfred Bradley Adkins on multiple fraud counts in connection with his role in a massive fraud against the Social Security Administration (SSA). According to the evidence presented at trial, Adkins and Kentucky lawyer Eric Christopher Conn submitted false medical documentation to the SSA, and former SSA administrative law judge David Black Daugherty awarded disability benefits based on the fraudulent submissions. See DOJ Press Release.
The scheme worked as follows. Conn referred patients to Adkins who performed perfunctory evaluations and used boilerplate reports to detail conditions to support disability findings. Adkins also altered his findings on certain reports, at Conn’s request, and ultimately signed forms prepared by Conn purporting to show that claimants qualified for disability benefits, whether or not they actually did. Conn then submitted these artificially disabling reports and falsified forms to Daugherty and other administrative law judges in support of disability determinations.
The evidence showed the scheme caused the SSA to pay more than $600 million in disability benefits in more than 2,000 cases to claimants in Kentucky and elsewhere, irrespective of the claimants’ actual entitlement to benefits. During the nearly eight-year scheme, Conn received more than $7.5 million of taxpayer dollars in attorney’s fees, and paid more than $600,000 to Daugherty, and approximately $200,000 to Adkins.
Both Conn and Daugherty previously pleaded guilty to their role in the scheme and are awaiting sentencing. In announcing the conviction of Adkins, the government celebrated holding accountable “the final defendant for his role in the largest scheme to defraud the Social Security Administration in its history.”
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