From a press release:
David Black Daugherty, 81, of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Danny C. Reeves of the Eastern District of Kentucky to an information charging him with two counts of receiving illegal gratuities. Sentencing is set for Aug. 25, 2017.
Daugherty was an administrative law judge at the Social Security hearing office in Huntington, West Virginia (Huntington Hearing Office) for more than 20 years, where his primary responsibility was to adjudicate disability claims on behalf of the SSA. According to admissions made as part of his guilty plea, from November 2004 to April 2011, Daugherty accepted more than $609,000 in cash payments, total, in more than approximately 3,100 cases from Social Security disability lawyer, Eric Christopher Conn, of Pikeville, Kentucky, for awarding disability benefits to claimants represented by Conn. Furthermore, in an effort to conceal the source of these cash payments, Daugherty divided cash deposits into various bank branches and accounts, he admitted.
Daugherty admitted that he sought out Conn’s cases pending with the Huntington Hearing Office, contacted Conn and told 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. As a result, Conn ultimately 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.