Three years after investigators uncovered almost 2,000 phony disability claims in an extensive Social Security Disability (SSD) fraud scheme, payments have not stopped flowing to the fraudulent accounts.
To date, a total of 1,800 cases have been identified as potentially fraudulent and are still receiving payments. Only 300 cases have been disqualified and the Social Security Administration (SSA) is working to terminate them.
The news of the slow termination of accounts comes just days after the accused ringleader and two accomplices were indicted on federal charges of fraud.
The charges came after an investigation uncovered an elaborate scheme put in place by Eric Conn, a Kentucky lawyer; Alfred Adkins, a psychologist; and David Daugherty, a former administrative law judge for the SSA.
Investigators reported that between 2004 and 2012, Conn created applications complete with phony medical paperwork. He sent them to Adkins and two other doctors for approval before submitting them to the SSA. Then, Daugherty would pull the applications and rubber-stamp them for approval.
Conn also collected a fee for helping beneficiaries apply for benefits. He shared more than $10 million with his co-conspirators. The government is current trying to recover the large sum.
Repercussions for Tax Payers and Disabled Applicants
Despite additional investigations into suspected SSD fraud, officials are assuming all applications are genuine until proven otherwise. This means that tax payers are stuck with the bill for payments to fraudulent disability accounts. The cost to tax payers could reach as much as $600 million.
There are also dozens of applicants who were caught up in the scheme and were swindled by Conn. Thanks to Representative Harold Rogers, 1,800 fraudulent cases are still being paid so as not to punish the innocent victims who utilized Conn's legal services to apply for benefits.
Disability benefits are an important lifeline to millions of Americans who can no longer work because of a disabling condition. Having a reputable disability lawyer on your side throughout the application process can help you recover benefits. Our attorneys are experienced in helping applicants get the benefits they need and are committed to putting your best interests first.