Wednesday, September 27, 2017
A Pikeville, Kentucky, psychologist's involvement in disgraced former Attorney Eric Conn's $550 milion Social Security fraud scheme and rejection to take a plea deal will cost him 25 years behind bars and more than $93 million in fines, the U.S. Department of Justice announced September 22, 2017.
Doctor Alfred Bradley Adkins (PHd), 46, was sentenced by Lexington-based U.S. District Judge Danny C. Reeves of the Eastern District of Kentucky after a jury found him guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire frauds, one count of mail fraud, one count of wire fraud and one count of making false statements after a June 2017 trial.
The $93 million in restitution will be paid to the Social Security Administration and other agencies. He was also ordered to forfeit $187,600 in fees.
While Adkins was the final defendant to be sentenced in the case, the book on the largest Social Security fraud case in the nation may never close with its ringleader Conn missing after he absconded from supervision prior to his own sentencing.
As part of the complex scheme, former Huntington-based SSA Administrative Law Judge David Black Daugherty would seek out pending disability cases claimants represented by Eric Conn and assign the cases to himself.
From 2004 to 2011, Conn solicited Adkins to sign medical evaluation forms his office had previously prepared, without reviewing or even evaluating claimants. He received $350 for each approval. Conn subsequently sent the forms to Daugherty, who in turn approved the claimants' requests for disability.
Their scheme obligated SSA to pay more than $550 million in lifetime benefits to claimants. Of at least 3,149 disability cases filed by Conn, more than 1,700 have been deemed fraudulent by government investigators.
Conn paid Daugherty more than $609,000 for granting benefits and nearly $200,000 to Adkins for signing the forms. For his part, Conn received more than $7 million in attorney's fees.
Conn fled from the area prior to his sentencing and was last spotted in July at a gas station and a Walmart in New Mexico, according to the FBI, citing photos from surveillance cameras.
Despite his absence, Reeves sentenced him to 12 years in federal prison, the maximum allowed for stealing from the government through fraudulent disability claims and paying bribes to a Social Security judge.
Conn was ordered to pay more than $100 million in restitution to Social Security and Medicare, along with $5.7 million to the U.S. Department of Justice. He also received a $50,000 fine.
Daugherty, 81, was sentenced last month to a four-year federal prison sentence and to repay more than $93.8 million in restitution to the government agencies
A fourth man involved, Charlie Paul Andrus, 67, who was the chief administrative law judge in the Huntington Social Security Office, admitted to retaliation against an office whistleblower, was sentenced to serve six months in prison.
A $20,000 reward is being offered to information leading to Conn's arrest. Those with information are asked to call the FBI's Louisville, Kentucky, office at 502-263-6000.
(By COURTNEY HESSLER,