Former administrative law judge pleads guilty in $550M Social Security scheme
- By FederalSoup Staff
- May 16, 2017
A former Social Security Administration administrative law judge pleaded guilty in federal court for his role in a scheme to fraudulently obtain more than $550 million in federal disability payments.
David Black Daugherty of Myrtle Beach, S.C., pleaded guilty to accepting and attempting to conceal more than $609,000 in bribes between November 2004 and April 2011.
According to the Department of Justice, Daugherty was an administrative law judge at the Social Security hearing office in Huntington, West Virginia for more than 20 years, where his primary responsibility was to adjudicate disability claims on behalf of the SSA.
He admitted to accepting the cash payments from a Social Security disability lawyer— Christopher Conn, of Pikeville, Kentucky— for awarding disability benefits to claimants he represented. In an effort to conceal the source of these cash payments, Daugherty divided cash deposits into various bank branches and accounts.
Daugherty sought out Conn’s pending cases and Conn and would tell him what type of medical evidence to submit in support of disability findings and then awarded benefits to claimants represented by Conn without holding hearings. Conn in turn received at least $7.1 million in representative fees from the SSA, and Daugherty further obligated the SSA to pay more than $550 million in lifetime benefits to claimants, according to the plea.
Sentencing is set for Aug. 25, 2017.