LEXINGTON, Ky. (Legal Newsline) – Just two weeks after a federal judge pleaded not guilty to scamming the federal government out of approximately $600 million, he retracted his plea.
Retired Social Security Judge David B. Daugherty and eastern Kentucky disability lawyer Eric Conn were indicted in early April for allegedly creating a seven-year scheme to obtain millions in disability payments. On April 18, while in a Lexington federal court, Daugherty pleaded not guilty.
Both Daugherty and Alfred Bradley Adkins, a clinical psychologist who is also being charged in the case, filed a motion for dismissal of the indictment.
The motion was denied on May 3. Both Daugherty and Adkins had moved to dismiss the charges on the basis of pre-indictment delay, but were not successful.
The court found that based on United States v. Brown, dismissal under pre-indictment delay can only be warranted "when the defendant shows substantial prejudice to his right to a fair trial and that the delay was an intentional device by the government to gain a tactical advantage.”
The decision stated that Daugherty and Adkins did not establish either ground.
Following the denial, on May 12, Daugherty pleaded guilty to two counts of accepting illegal gratuities.
From 2004 to 2011, Daugherty approved at least 3,149 disability cases filed by Conn, according to the Washington Times. More than 1,700 of those cases have been deemed fraudulent by government investigators, which made the U.S. responsible for more than $550 million in lifetime benefit payments.
It is alleged Conn collected more than $7 million, and he paid Daugherty $609,000.
Earlier this year, Conn pleaded guilty and admitted to submitting fake I.Q. tests and having doctors rubber stamp fraudulent medical diagnoses for his clients.
Daugherty's sentencing is on Aug. 25.