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Judge Accused of Social Security Disability Fraud

Posted on Oct 30, 2013

A Social Security judge allegedly collaborated with a lawyer to fraudulently award disability benefits to hundreds of people.

According to congressional investigative reports, Judge David B. Daugherty is accused of working with lawyer Eric C. Conn to approve as many as 1,800 cases between 2006 and 2010. The staff for the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee said that through their collaboration, the judge was able to approve hundreds of Conn’s clients in assembly-line fashion, using manufactured medical evidence.

The Social Security Administration reportedly paid Conn’s law firm $4.5 million in attorney fees from cases Judge Daugherty heard, making him one of the highest-paid lawyers in the nation.

The investigation began after investigators found $96,000 in unexplained cash deposits in Judge Daugherty’s bank account. Daugherty used his personal bank account to deposit the cash from 2003 to 2011. From 2007 to 2011, he also used his daughter’s bank account to make some of the unexplained cash deposits. When asked, Judge Daugherty refused to provide an explanation for where the money came from.

Other suspicions arose when Judge Daugherty approved hearings faster than the average time frame. On average, it takes a little over a year for an administrative law judge to review and approve claims. For Conn’s clients, Judge Daugherty approved claims in as little as 30 days.

From the perspective of our Massachusetts Social Security disability law firm, we strongly believe in honesty and fairness when it comes to applying for Social Security disability benefits. It saddens us to see Social Security disability fraud done in this manner, potentially jeopardizing others from receiving the benefits they need.


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John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney of Keefe Disability Law