Eric Conn Goes On The Lam
About a month before he was to be sentenced for Social Security disability fraud, former attorney Eric Conn disappeared, and his lawyer says that the FBI is “ramping up” its efforts to bring him in.
The FBI has few clues, other than a discarded ankle monitor on Interstate 75 and a few items seized from searches of residents and businesses connected with Mr. Conn. Special Agent Amy Hess said the agency was expanding its probe, and investigators are “pursuing all angles as to who might be helping him currently.” Mr. Conn’s attorney, Scott White, interpreted these comments to mean that the FBI is considering additional charges, other than just fleeing bail, and “it sounds like he better surrender.” At his sentencing, Mr. Conn faces up to $800 million in fines and restitution (a large percentage of which he has already paid) and up to twelve years in prison.
In a related development, a Lexington federal jury convicted 45-year-old Dr. Alfred Bradley Adkins, of Shelbiana, on multiple counts for his role in the wide-ranging scheme. According to evidence presented at trial, the clinical psychologist filed disability reports based on only a cursory review, and in some cases even falsified records, in exchange for about $200,000 in bribes.
The Conn/Adkins scheme, which also involved former Social Security disability Judge David Black Daugherty, obligated the federal government for about $600 million in payments.
Issues in Social Security Disability Cases
One of the reasons for the size and scope of this scheme is that the overall process is quite subjective, which bodes well for claimants who have aggressive attorneys.
First, Social Security disability claimants must have a condition listed in the Blue Book, which contains a vast array of physical, mental, and emotional illnesses. Furthermore, claimants who have a substantially similar illness may also qualify for disability payments. So, there is room for an attorney to maneuver.
Second, the claimant must be disabled. The claimant must be completely unable to perform his/her previous work, because the person’s illness inhibits key work-related functions. Moreover, the claimant must be unable to find replacement work given such factors as age, education, and previous job experience. This second component is what makes this element so subjective.
Third, the claimant must have paid sufficient Social Security taxes to be eligible for benefits. Exceptions apply for certain conditions, such as blindness, and for certain ages, such as disabled children.
The average amount of benefits varies greatly depending on the facts of the case, but most successful Social Security disability claimants receive between $700 and $1,000 a month. These benefits are usually retroactive to the diagnosis date.
Social Security disability benefits are available to those who have an assertive lawyer who knows the system, like Leitchfield Attorney Gary S. Logsdon. Call today for your free consultation, because the sooner we start working, the stronger your case will be.