WASHINGTON, DC (WTVQ) – Republican Congressman Hal Rogers, of Somerset, sent a letter to the new acting commissioner of the Social Security Administration (SSA) calling for former clients of disbarred Kentucky attorney Eric C. Conn, to get the disability benefits they’re entitled to that they’ve been waiting on for six years.
Conn had an office in Floyd County lived in Pikeville. He was once one of the top Social Security disability lawyers in the nation, with a lucrative practice representing thousands of people from Eastern Kentucky.
He eventually admitted he put false evidence in clients’ claims, paid doctors and a psychologist to sign the claims with little overnight, and bribed an administrative law judge to approve them. He was convicted in 2017 of defrauding the SSA of more than $550 million, which to date, is the largest fraud scheme in the history of the program.
Conn fled the country for several months, but was eventually captured, brought back to Kentucky and in 2018 was sentenced to 27-years in prison.
No evidence was ever presented that Conn’s clients were involved in the scheme, yet for thousands of them, their SSA benefits have been frozen and tied-up in hearing after hearing. That led to Congressman Rogers letter to SSA Acting Commissioner Kilolo Kijakazi, asking him to speed justice for Conn’s former clients.
“The SSA has spent millions of taxpayer dollars trying to deny roughly 3,800 disabled Americans their benefits. This is time and money that could be used to reduce the SSA’s backlog of cases and route out actual fraud that still permeates the system. I strongly support your efforts to end fraud in the Social Security system, but these individuals are the victims of fraud, not the perpetrators, and it’s time for their uncertainty and anxiety to end,” stated Congressman Rogers in the letter.
Congressman Rogers also applauded the work of local pro bono lawyers who have continued to represent former Conn clients through the complex redetermination process.