West Virginia Record

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Former disability attorney pleads guilty

By Kyla Asbury | Mar 27, 2017

Law money 07

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A former Social Security benefits attorney has plead guilty to conspiring to defraud the U.S. government of nearly $600 million.

Eric C. Conn plead guilty on March 24 to one count of theft of government money and one count of payment of gratuities.

Conn will be sentenced on July 14.

Conn, along with Alfred Adkins and David Daugherty, were accused of conspiring together to defraud the government of millions of dollars in Social Security benefits.

In June, Conn was released from jail on a $1.25 million bond, along with other conditions. He had been in jail since his arrest on April 2. He was ordered to wear a GPS tracker, surrender his passport, avoid contact with anyone involved in his case, not to litigate disability cases or leave Eastern Kentucky.

The bond was secured by his home in Pikeville, Ky.

Conn and Adkins, a psychologist who worked for Conn, both plead not guilty in April when they were indicted on multiple federal charges.

In the indictment Conn, Daugherty and Adkins were charged with one count each of Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud and Wire Fraud, three counts each of Mail Fraud, and three counts each of Wire Fraud.

Conn is also charged with Conspiracy to Retaliate against a Witness, Victim or Informant, Destruction of Records, documents or Tangible Objects in a Federal Investigation, False Statements, Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments, four counts of Transactional Money laundering, and Conspiracy to Structure Currency Transactions Involving a Financial Institution for the purpose of Evading the Report Requirements.

In 2015, the Social Security Administration suspended benefits for hundreds of Conn’s clients because of the suspected fraud. The SSA later reversed that decision at the request of U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, who represents Kentucky.

Conn’s former clients will be required to re-prove their disability claims.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky case number: 5:16-cr-00022

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U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky