Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Organized Crime at The SSA

U.S.: Ex-Judge Pleads Guilty in Major Social Security Fraud Case

Social Security Administration Judge David Daugerty, (USALJ Ret.), now a former judge pleaded guilty on May 13, 2017 for taking money from a Kentucky lawyer, Eric Conn,  to approve hundreds of fraudulent disability cases in a scheme that stripped the government of more than US$550 million in disability payments.
Social Security Administration OfficeU.S. Social Security Administration (Photo: SSA-OIG)Judge David B. Daugherty, 81, who was once an administrative law judge (ALJ), approved more than 1,700 bogus disability cases filed by Eric C. Conn, a lawyer in eastern Kentucky, obligating the government to pay out more than half a billion dollars in lifetime benefits.
Conn, who dubbed himself “Mr. Social Security,” collected more than $7 million in payments for filing bogus applications from 2004 to 2011, and paid Daugherty $609,000 during that time.
"This admission that a judge in a position of trust took over a half-million dollars in cash from a crooked lawyer is outrageous," said Sam Johnson, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
"This case proves once again that more needs to be done to stop disability fraud across America. I’m committed to working with my colleagues to help protect taxpayer dollars and prevent disability fraud."
Conn pleaded guilty earlier this year for submitting false IQ tests and having a doctor who worked for him stamp bogus medical diagnosis for many of his clients.
He has agreed to pay US$5.7 million to the government and US$45.5 million to the Social Security Administration. His sentencing is scheduled for July where he could face up to 12 years in prison.
Daugherty, who was arrested in April, will pay the government US$609,000 and faces a maximum of four years in prison. He will be sentenced in August.

The 81-year-old David Black Daugherty pleaded guilty Friday May 13, 2017 in federal court in Lexington to two counts of taking illegal gratuities. Daugherty agreed to pay the government $609,000 as part of his plea.
                                       (Above, see Judge David Black Daugherty)
But Judge Daugherty worked for Frank Cristaudo, who was the Chief Administrative Law Judge. (CALJ). 
                                      (Above, see SSA CALJ Frank Cristaudo)

They both worked for Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue.
                                 (Above, see SSA Commissioner Michael Astrue)
Judge Daugherty was working to eliminate the "back log".
The Chief Administrative Law Judge had and has day-to-day oversight of all of SSA's's hearing operations.
Judge Cristaudo testified before Congress that he wanted to implement a comprehensive plan to eliminate the backlog of hearings. By eliminating the backlog, he would improve hearing office productivity and the timeliness of SSA hearings and decisions.
Judges like ALJ Dave Daugherty were at the heart of his operation. He testified that he would be monitoring the workloads of these Judges and their cases carefully.
He had selected a number of excellent judges including Judge Daugherty. He needed more judges like Judge Daugherty who were well-suited to SSA's type of work - judges who were capable of thriving under the workload demands of SSA's high-volume, electronic hearing operation. Judge Daugherty was the most prolific high producer that he had.
After successfully eliminating SSA's 1,000 or more day-old cases in FY 2007, he focused on reducing the 900 or more day-old cases by the end of FY 2008.  He testified that he believed a backlog of aged cases interfered with the normal hearing office workflow. Productivity was up because of Judge Daugherty and others who decided cases without holding Hearings.  The new judges  were trained by the highest-producing judges in SSA's ALJ corps, judges like Judge Dave Daugherty.
The complete text of Chief Judge Frank Cristaudo's testimony can be read at:
(See   https://www.ssa.gov/legislation/testimony_091608.html)
Disability fraud appears to be on the rise, with some of the biggest scams being detected in recent years such as the 2014 scheme involving 100 ex-police officers and firemen from New York who filed false mental illness claims in order to receive federal benefits costing the Social Security system hundreds of millions of dollars.

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